Right to Work Checks: An Employer’s Guide in 2022

From 6 April 2022, employers won’t be able to carry out manual right to work checks. Instead, they’ll be able to submit documents electronically through an IDSP for £12 per person. This includes documentation such as payslips, bank statements, tax returns, National Insurance numbers and driving licences.

Employers will still be ableto carry out face-to-face right to workchecks if they choose. However, it’s important to note that there are some exemptions – including where the employee lives outside of the UK.

The government says the changes will help reduce administrative burdens on businesses. But critics say the move could lead to discrimination against workers based on their immigration status.

Checks for EU workers’ right to work

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New EU, EEA and Swiss residents coming to the UK between 1st July 2021 and 30th June 2022 will need to show proof of their Right to Work status. This includes having a passport or other form of ID card.

Those who already held a valid European Union Settlement Scheme (EUSS) permit prior to 1st July 2021 will still be allowed to travel and work without requiring any additional documentation. However, if the person wants to change job or move house, they must apply for a new EUS permit.

An employer checking service will check the validity of the documents submitted by the applicant, and if there are discrepancies, it will notify the employer.

How do you locate a licensed IDSP?

There are six certification bodies listed online. At least two of these certify IDSPs. A number of other organisations work towards accrediting IDPS. But how do you know what to believe? And which one is best?

What does all this mean?

The Government has announced it will introduce legislation to make it easier for employers to check whether workers are eligible to work in the UK. From April 2020, employers will no longer need to carry out Right to Work checks for people applying for jobs where there is no requirement to do so under EU law. However, those working in sectors covered by the Immigration Act 2016 such as hospitality, agriculture, construction, manufacturing and transport will continue to require a valid passport. Those working in healthcare, social care and education will require a valid visa.

Employers will now be able to complete Right-to-Work checks for employees with a UK or Irish passport. If you wish to apply for a job where you must provide proof of eligibility to work in the UK, you will still need to provide evidence of identity and nationality. You will also need to provide evidence of entitlement to live and work in the UK. This includes having a valid passport or ID card, or providing a document showing you meet one of the requirements listed above.

If you have been refused permission to enter the UK because you did not produce sufficient documentation to prove your status, you can appeal against this decision within three months.

What should employers do?

Employers are now required to perform Right to Work checks online. They must also ensure that the information they provide to the Department of Employment Services is accurate. If they fail to comply with either requirement, they could face fines or penalties.

The law came into effect on July 1, 2017. Employers who chose not to use an Independent Dispute Service Provider (IDSP) will need to complete all the Right to Work checks in person. An IDSP is a third party organisation that provides dispute resolution services to employees.

A DES spokesperson told Business Insider Australia that it does not recommend employers use an IDSP unless they are confident that the provider meets the requirements set out in the legislation.

They added that there are no penalties for failing to meet those requirements, however employers who choose not to use one could still face fines or penalties. A penalty of $1,500 per employee applies where an employer fails to provide correct information about how many employees they employ.

If an employer chooses not to use an IDP and fails to correctly report the number of employees they have, they could face a fine of up to $10,000 per day. This is calculated based on the number of days the employer failed to report the correct information.

In addition, if an employer uses an IDP and incorrectly reports the number of employees they employ, they could face a penalty of up to $2,000 per employee.

This penalty applies regardless of whether the employer used an IDP or not.

How can KPMG help?

KPMG is helping businesses manage their Right to Work compliance requirements. This involves updating their software which requires them to undergo an audit. To do this, they need to contact HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC). However, HMRC does not always respond quickly enough to allow companies to complete the process within the deadline set out by law. As such, KPMG is offering to assist businesses in completing the necessary paperwork.

The firm says it uses the same software that HMRC uses to carry out audits, meaning there is no additional cost involved. A spokesperson told us: “We believe that we have a good understanding of how HMRC works and what processes they use to review tax returns.”

Right to Work checklist

The Right To Work Act requires employers to provide workers with information about the terms of their contracts, including wages, benefits, working hours, and job security. In addition, it prohibits employers from requiring employees to pay union dues or fees as a condition of employment.

Employers must check whether an employee’s visa or permit has expired. If it does, they cannot offer the worker work without providing proof of legal status.

They must check if the person holds any outstanding fines or convictions. This includes anything related to traffic violations, domestic violence, drug offenses, fraud, or tax evasion.

They must check whether there are any immigration issues with the applicant. For example, if the applicant is seeking asylum, they must ensure that the application is valid and complete.

If you suspect that someone might be employing undocumented workers, contact the National Visa Center at 866-872-8723 or go online to www.uscis.gov/employer/righttoworkchecklist.

Employer Checking Service

The Employer Checking Service is now available through the Home Office’s website. This service replaces manual checks, allowing employers to verify employment records. An online check is required before the employer can hire someone.

Guide for Employers on Right to Work Checks

There are two main ways employers can check whether employees are entitled or not to work in the UK. They can do it either through an employment tribunal or directly with HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC).

The former option requires employers to make sure that all employees have been given written information about their rights under The Working Time Regulations 1998. This includes checking that employees understand that they must give notice of up to 48 hours before starting work, and that they cannot start working before 8am or finish after 5pm without permission.

If an employee does not receive the required information, he or she could take legal action against the employer. If successful, the worker could win compensation.

In addition, employers must ensure that all workers are paid correctly and on time. Failure to pay wages properly could lead to fines of up to £10,000 per person.

The latter option is much simpler. All employers are legally obliged to ask each individual worker if they are eligible to work in the UK and to check their immigration status.

This is called a “Right to Work Check”. It applies to anyone who works for you and is based on the Immigration Act 1971.

You must carry out a Right to Work Check every three months. You must also keep records of how many people you asked about their eligibility to work and why you did not ask others.

Your records must be kept for six years.

Penalties for non-compliance

Failure to comply with Right to work regulations will lead to penalties including fines, criminal prosecutions and County Court Judgments. Penalties for non-compliance include disqualification of Directors, loss of Sponsorship Licences and being placed on the Home Office’s Civil Penalty Offender list.

Employers found guilty of employing an Illegal Worker face disqualification of Directors. Employers who fail to Check Workers Immigration Status Could Find Themselves Facing Adverse Impacts On Their Businesses.

Need assistance?

Davidson Morris Immigration Solicitors are experts in assisting clients with all aspects of immigration law. They provide advice on all aspects of employment law, including the practicality of avoiding Home Office penalties.

They offer advice on all aspects including the practicalities of complying with immigration law. This includes conducting Right to Work checks, ensuring employers know what documents they must hold and understanding the requirements of Tier 2 sponsorship.

Frequently Asked Questions

What happens if you don’t do a right-to-work check

1. You may not get paid!

In the UK, workers have the right to join trade unions and bargain collectively over pay and conditions. If they choose not to, their employer cannot force them to join a union or pay dues. In return, employees who want to work at a company without joining a union need to sign what’s called a ‘right-to-work’ agreement. These agreements mean that workers agree not to strike or take any action that would disrupt production.

2. You could lose your job!

If you’re employed by someone else, then you might be able to go on strike. But if you work for yourself, you won’t have anyone to back you up. And even if you do manage to persuade some of your customers to boycott your business, you’ll still struggle to survive.

3. Your wages could drop!

You might think that signing a right-to-worker agreement means you’ll earn less money. But actually, it’s just the opposite. Employers often offer higher wages to people who agree to sign these contracts. That way, they know their workforce isn’t going to cause trouble.

4. You could end up losing your home!

Many employers use right-to-work agreements to make sure they keep control over their staff. So if you’ve signed one, they can sack you whenever they want – no questions asked. And if you haven’t been paying rent, they can evict you from your house.

5. You could miss out on promotions!

Employees who refuse to sign a right-to-workers contract aren’t allowed to progress in their careers. And if they ask to change jobs, bosses can say no.

6. You could find it hard to get credit!

When you start working for yourself, banks tend to treat you differently than they would a regular employee. They might give you a lower interest rate on loans, or refuse to lend you money.

7. You could face legal problems!

It’s illegal to discriminate against someone based on whether they belong to a trade union or not. And if you fire someone because they joined a union, you could be breaking anti-discrimination laws.

When did right-to-work checks start in the UK?

The first time I heard about right-to-work was when I started working at my current job. My boss told me that we were going to have some union meetings soon and that they would need us to sign some papers saying that we wouldn’t join any unions while we worked here. He said that if we didn’t sign them, he’d fire us. I thought that was pretty weird, but I signed them anyway. After that, I never really paid much attention to what unions were doing until recently.

I’ve been reading articles online about how unions are bad for workers and that they’re only good for keeping wages low. I don’t know if that’s true or not, but I do think that unions should exist. If people want to work together and make sure their rights are protected, then I’m all for it.

Right-to-work laws are basically laws that say that employees cannot be forced to pay dues to a union. That means that if someone wants to join a union, they can, but they won’t get anything out of it unless they actually go to the union meeting and vote to become a member. Right-to-work laws came into effect in the United States in 1937. There had already been many attempts to pass similar laws before that, but none of them passed. In fact, right-to-work laws were repealed twice in the 1930s. However, after World War II, right-to-worker laws were reestablished in 1947.

In the UK, right-to-works laws began being implemented in 2012. Before that, anyone could join a union without having to pay any fees. But starting in 2012, people who wanted to join a union had to pay a fee. The idea behind this law was to cut down on corruption among unions. Unions often use money raised from membership fees to fund political campaigns. So, if members aren’t paying dues, they’ll have less money to spend on politics.

So, now that you know a little bit about right-to-workers laws, let’s talk about the pros and cons of unions.


Unions help protect workers’ rights. When workers organize, they can negotiate contracts that give them certain protections. These protections might include things like minimum wage requirements, sick leave policies, and even healthcare coverage. Workers also have the option to strike if negotiations fail. A strike is essentially when workers stop working. And sometimes, strikes can lead to protests and boycotts.


Unions take away freedom. As mentioned earlier, right-to-workers allow people to choose whether or not they want to join a union. But, if they decide to join a union, that doesn’t mean that they have to follow its rules. People can still boycott unions, and they can still protest. Also, unions tend to focus on issues that affect everyone equally. So, if a company decides to close down, they might try to convince the government to force that company to keep operating. Or, if a union tries to fight for higher wages, they might try to persuade companies to raise their prices.

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