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Key Points

  • Under the temporary changes that were instated on March 30, 2020, employers have been able to carry out document checks through video calls and document scans instead of seeing original documents
  • Starting on April 5, 2022, employers must check the employee’s physical documents to verify the right to work status. An online share code can also be used
  • If a prospective or existing employee is unable to provide necessary documents, employers can use the UK’s Employer Checking Service
  • Starting April 5, 2022, certain exceptions are available for some online right-to-work checks. For example, if an employee holds an online status under the EU Settlement Scheme or a Biometric Residence Permit and can provide a share code, physical document verification isn’t required


In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the UK Home Office instituted a temporary change to the right-to-work procedures, which allowed the right-to-work checks to be carried out over video. The UK Home Office has announced on April 5, 2022, video calls will no longer be allowed, and standards will reset to pre-pandemic requirements. This date was previously June 20, 2021, but has since been updated to April 5, 2022. Facing staff shortages in most industries, the decision to extend this deadline will allow employers to hire staff quickly and safely.

What Are the Changes?

The rules for employers conducting right-to-work checks are reverting to pre-pandemic expectations. Please note that the UK Home Office did announce that employers were going to have to perform retroactive right-to-work checks, but they have since retracted this statement. The temporary date was updated from May 16, 2021, to June 20, 2021.

Looking Ahead

Employers should expect to have in-person right-to-work checks in the future and should implement the appropriate processes to do so.

Source: Home Office, Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC)

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