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Right to work digital ID checks and why you need to know more about them!


All employers have the responsibility to make sure that they are preventing illegal working, this is done through conducting simple right to work checks before someone starts their employment. Failure to conduct these tests can result in a civil penalty of up to £20,000 per illegal worker and these tests must be carried out on ALL employees including British nationals, voluntary, unpaid and paid workers.

As a large proportion of workers continue to operate remotely businesses are having to use digital methods in terms of right to work identification. The pandemic accelerated a lot of processes from manual to digital and right to work checks are one of these, as the government now recognise that employers will not wish to return to in-person checks.


What are digital ID checks?

Digital right to work checks are being used to verify the identity of new UK and Irish citizens remotely to prove their eligibility to work. The pandemic accelerated this as it became evident that there was a need to digitise the system to undertake these checks from home. Digital checks are continuing to support the working practices created by the pandemic and are speeding up the recruitment and onboarding processes.


What does it mean for employers?

The hope for digital checks is to provide a secure and more consistent method of identification. This will aid in reducing risk and avoid the chance of human error which can happen when performing these checks manually.


How are these checks done?

Until the 30th of September 2022, to carry out right to work checks employers must do the following:

  • Ask the employee to submit a scanned copy of their original documents electronically.
  • Arrange a video call and ask for the documents to be shown directly to camera where you can record the date of the check (this needs to be marked as adjusted check on (date) due to COVID-19)


Why should you consider digital checks for right to work?

There are a lot of reasons to be using digital verification for right to work, such as:


Consistency – The digital checks give one consistent process across your business for all staff.

Reduction in administration – Digital right to work checks aim to eliminate the need to photocopy and store paper copies of identity documents, saving time and reducing admin costs.

Receive genuine document – digital checks protect the team in control of identifying if a document is fraudulent or not.

Saves time – The software used for these checks are very fast and you usually get a response about the check within minutes.


Key points for employers – Are they the future?

Our recommendation for employers employing UK and Irish Citizens is to seek a digital process before the temporary covid adjustments end in September unless you can still do in-person checks. Digital systems for this process are advised not only for ease but for compliance purposes and a framework has been created for this to ensure companies follow secure, trusted and consistent digital right to work checks.


We also suggest that all personnel involved in the recruitment and onboarding of a new employee should be trained to conduct these checks correctly, as regular spot checks of document should be performed to identify potential issues.


If you’d like to speak to us about this further and understand more about digital right to work checks, contact us today we are always happy to explain in more detail. Call us on 01455 444222 or email us at



Background links:

Online right to work checks - GOV.UK (

Digital identity certification for right to work, right to rent and criminal record checks - GOV.UK (

Right to work checks: an employer's guide - GOV.UK (

HR Magazine - Right to work digital ID check providers chosen

First right-to-work identity check providers named by government (

Digital right to work checks: what employers need to know - BM Insights - Blake Morgan

HR Magazine - Digital right to work checks to be introduced from April