Digital right to work checks only for non-British nationals? What changes in April 2022

Digital right to work checks only for non-British nationals? What changes in April 2022


The Home Office has announced that, from 6 April 2022, right to work checks can only be conducted online for non-British nationals holding a biometric residence permit (BRP), biometric residence card (BRC) or frontier worker permit (FWP). This means that it will no longer be possible for employers to conduct manual right to work checks for these individuals by seeing and copying the physical documents. 

This change means that, from 6 April 2022, employers will need to carry out the right to work check in respect of these individuals by using the Home Office’s online right to work check service. In order to run the check, the employer will first need to ask employees for their date of birth and for their right to work share code, which is generated by the online system and which is valid for 30 days. 

In order for the employer to have a statutory excuse against a civil penalty if it later transpires that the individual does not have the right to work, the check must be undertaken in accordance with the guidance and it must still be undertaken before the individual’s employment starts. A further right to work check must be made before the individual’s leave expires if the individual has time limited leave. Further information is available in Appendix E to the Employer Right to Work Checks supporting guidance.

Employers are not required to carry out retrospective checks where a manual right to work check was undertaken on or before 5 April 2022. The guidance has been released now to prepare employers for the upcoming changes and to give them time to change their current right to work check procedures. A similar change is also being made in relation to right to rent checks. 

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