UK Right to Work checks are changing. Here’s what you need to know

20 Sep 2022 by Neil Rose

In the UK, every new hire must undergo a Right to Work check before commencing employment. Prior to COVID-19, the UK Government required these to be completed face-to-face for most job seekers, including UK and Irish nationals, who typically make up the majority of candidates.

UK Right to Work checks are changing. Here’s what you need to know

This process ensured that employers sighted original documents and could personally verify that the documents belonged to the applicant, were aligned with the visa requirements for the role, used the same photo and were valid and up to date.

Then, as the world shifted to remote work in 2020, the UK Government temporarily changed the rules, allowing these checks to be completed via video chat.

While necessary, moving to a remote process so quickly left the door open for fraudsters.

However, the world has changed. In-person checks are not always convenient (or even possible) in a world where remote work is fast becoming the norm, and now the temporary change is set to cease on 30 September 2022.

What’s changing?

For the first time in UK history, employers will have the option to complete Right to Work checks and the entire onboarding process remotely. 

From 1 October 2022, employers will no longer have to complete in-person checks. Instead, they can use a UK Government–certified Identity Service Provider (IDSP) to verify documents remotely.

While companies still have the choice of in-person or online right-to-work verification, the government looks to be favouring the use of IDSPs, as manually checking documents still leaves employers open to human error. Manually checking a document and failing to pick up fraud that an IDSP would have identified leaves the company liable for a fine of up to £20K. Employers who check documents via IDSP will not be liable if a fraudulent document surpasses the technology.

We were quick to move at Referoo, partnering with a certified IDSP as part of our standard reference and background checking options. This means Referoo clients continue to remain compliant through their Referoo system or integration with their HR or recruitment platform.

Currently, digital Right to Work checks are available to UK and Irish citizens only. For those with a Right to Work in the UK through a visa, a visual inspection or check via the Government visa share code method still remains. Referoo’s solution also digitally checks the Right to Work for foreign nationals.

Preparing for the digital transformation

Forward-thinking leaders are putting measures in place now to protect their business from emerging threats, such as the imposter employee.

Referoo is a solution designed for a digital world. Integrated security and fraud detection tools keep you secure and compliant, and class-leading biometric identity verification gives you certainty of identity across candidates and referees.

Our reference-checking platform not only protects you from fraud, it also makes it easy to collect high-quality, fast and secure references – insights from previous employers that can protect you from making the wrong hire.

In addition, innovative business development and talent pooling features allow you to turn referees into candidates or business leads in a single click – something every recruiter needs in today’s challenging climate.

And even better, it’s easy to use. There’s no need for lengthy training or set-up, so you can hit the ground running.

Want to find out more? Contact Referoo’s UK team at We will even throw in a full 14-day free trial, so you can see it in action risk-free.