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Home > News > Right to work checks go digital – a guide for employers

Right to work checks go digital – a guide for employers

14 April 2020 | Melissa Toney

As of the 30th March 2020 the UK Home Office have temporarily relaxed the right to work check requirements for employers due to the Coronavirus outbreak.

Right to work checks and Coronavirus

In normal circumstances all employers must complete a right to work check on or prior to any employee’s start date. As a result of the Coronavirus lockdown, the Home Office has confirmed that right to work checks can now be carried out over video calls.

The new process involves an individual sending a scanned copy or photo of their original documents via email or phone to the employer. The employer would then conduct a video call with the individual during which they would hold up the original documents to the camera and check them against the digital copy of the documents. Employers must record the date of the check and mark it as “adjusted check undertaken on [insert date] due to COVID-19”.

Online right to work system

If the individual has a current Biometric Residence Permit or status under the EU Settlement Scheme, the employer can use the online right to work checking system and subsequently validate their identity on a video call. This service works based on the individual providing the employer with a share code. Once this is entered along with the individual’s date of birth, it enables the employer to access information on their right to work.

If the individual cannot show their documents, employers should use the Home Office Checking Service. Employers should wait to receive a positive verification notice before the applicant commences work as simply making an application to the service does not guarantee status to work.

Retrospective right to work checks

When these temporary COVID-19s measures end, employers will have 8 weeks to carry out retrospective checks on all the original documents. At this point, if an employer finds that the employee does not have the right to work in the United Kingdom, they must end their employment. For full details of the temporary measures, see the Home Office guidance.


If you would like advice and guidance on your continued obligations as an employer, our specialist legal experts are ready to help. To contact an immigration or employment solicitor in Bristol or London, please call 0117 906 9400 or email  


The contents of this article are intended for general information purposes only and shall not be deemed to be, or constitute legal advice. We cannot accept responsibility for any loss as a result of acts or omissions taken in respect of this article.

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