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As of October 1, 2022, all UK employers need to check right-to-work (RTW) documentation face-to-face, as special COVID-19 rules allowing remote RTW checks over a video call expired on September 30, 2022.
All UK employers must carry out RTW checks for new recruits, typically checking the employee’s passport (and keeping a copy) to ensure they have the right to work in the UK. Failing to do so exposes employers to fines of up to £20,000 per breach (plus criminal liability, disqualification of directors and reputational damage, among other risks) in the event that they illegally employ someone.
During the pandemic, the Home Office enacted temporary measures allowing employers to carry out RTW checks over a video call and accept scanned documentation. Those temporary measures no longer apply. As of October 1, 2022, employers must check RTW documentation face-to-face. However, the UK government has opened the door to an employer performing digital RTW checks via new technology.
- UK employers must return to manual right-to-work checks, as required before the pandemic.
- Identity digital service providers can carry out some right-to-work checks for hospitality employers.