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Temporary changes to right to work checks introduced during the COVID‐19 pandemic ended on 30 September 2022, and employers now have the following options for ensuring an individual has the right to work in the UK:

  • Using a certified digital Identity Service Provider (IDSP) to conduct digital checks on any individual who has either a valid British or Irish Passport (or Irish Passport Card). The employer is still required to prove that they have seen the prospective employee face to face, which can be done via video call.
  • Conducting an online check via the Home Office online service where an individual is providing certain documentation, such as a Biometric Residence Card, Biometric Residence Permit or Frontier Worker Permit. An employer can also use the Employer Checking Service in specific circumstances, for example where an individual has an outstanding application or appeal with the Home Office.
  • Conducting in‐person manual document‐based checks, where the employer has to physically obtain, check and copy one ‘acceptable document’ from the prospective employee.

Employers conducting any of the above right to work checks in accordance with the Home Office guidance will be provided with a ‘statutory excuse’, which means that, in the event they are found to be employing someone illegally, they will not have to pay a civil penalty which can be up to £20,000 per illegal worker.

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