April changes for right to work check requirements

Jan 10th, 2022

Marie Horner, Partner

The temporary adjusted right to work checks brought in because of the pandemic lockdown are due to end from 6 April 2022. There is a chance that the Home Office will make an announcement before this date about any plans to extend them further; it may depend upon whether the tool that they are developing to enable employers to check the right to work of more people online is ready.

Adjusted check method valid up to 5 April 2022

Up to and including 5th April 2022, employers are still permitted to use the adjusted check method which, amongst other things, involves asking the worker to scan copies of their documents to you via email and also viewing those documents over video link with the individual present.  The government’s full guidance on the adjusted checks can be found here.

Online right to work check service

Another change taking place from 6th April relates to workers who hold a biometric residence card (BRC), biometric residence permit (BRP) or frontier worker permit (FWP). From this date, employers must carry out a check for individuals with these documents using the Home Office's online right to work check service. It will no longer be permitted to complete a manual right to work check using a physical BRC, BRP or FWP.

As an aside, for any of you reading this with tenanted properties, please note that a corresponding change is being made to right to rent checks.


Don’t forget the penalties for having workers on your payroll who do not have the right to work in the UK are significant, at up to £20,000 per worker.  The penalty actually imposed is calculated on a sliding scale taking into account factors such as whether it is the employer’s first offence, whether effective right to work check procedures are in place, and whether the employer co-operates with the Home Office when under investigation.  Understanding your obligations and getting the checks right from the outset is however likely to save a lot of time, money and potential sleepless nights.

For assistance with understanding your obligations in relation to right to work checks and establishing the “statutory excuse”, do give one of the employment team a call.

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