Checking if your new recruit has the right to work in the UK

January 9, 2023

Are you aware of the changes to right to work checks? In the UK, before you take on a new employee it is a legal requirement to carry out straightforward work checks to prevent illegal working. There have been changes to the right to work checks from 1 October 2022, and employers need to be aware of these before hiring a new employee. The risk you face is that if you don’t do these checks, and you are found to have employed someone who doesn’t have the right to work in the UK, you have no defence and could find yourself being fined up to £20,000 per employee.

What are the current right to work checks?
There are three main methods of checking an individual’s right to work in the UK. The three main methods are:

  1. Manually by meeting the employee in-person with their passport;
  2. Online using the website ( share code)
  3. Using an Identity Service Provider.

The three initial right to work checks are detailed below and you should be carry these out before employment begins.

  1. Manual in-person checks

For British or Irish citizens with a current or expired passport, you can use manual in-person checks to verify their right to work.  If you cannot meet the person because they are a remote worker, you can use an Identity Service Provider.

  • Online via the Government website

Use this method for all employees who do not have a British or Irish passport ( or alternative documents such as birth certificates etc confirming their British or Irish nationality)

You need the employee’s date of birth and share code to complete the online check

Check a job applicant’s right to work: use their share code – GOV.UK (

You can then download a Share Code Document which confirms the person’s right to work.   You then need to confirm that it is your employee on the document  by seeing them in person or by video. If you do this it provides employers with a defence against a civil penalty.

  • Identity Service Provider checks (IDSP)

You can use an Identity Service provider (IDSP) where manual checks are not possible due to employees working remotely. An Identity Service Provider will charge a fee for this service, and this will vary between providers. The employee will need to upload photo evidence of their right to work to the IDSP and a take a selfie. The service provider will then verify the identity of the employee and their right to work and provide employers with a document verifying their documents and their photographic likeness.   They will issue a document to the employer, but the employer still has to check by video that the employee is the same person as in the IDSP document.  

KHES use Trust ID to provide this service and we can offer this service for £20 per employee.

It should be noted that despite engaging an Identity Service Provider to carry out the checks, employers remain liable to ensure that the check was carried out correctly.