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Digital right to work checks extended

The end date for the temporary adjusted, digital right to work (RTW) checks has now been deferred to 5 April 2022. Introduced on 30 March 2020, digital RTW checks have allowed employers to hire new staff without having to meet them in person to check documents. This system has kept people safe, saved companies time and resources during the pandemic, and helped slow the spread of COVID-19. It also levelled the playing field between UK and foreign nationals by allowing digital checks for both, rather than just for foreign nationals.

The decision to defer the date follows the positive feedback received about the ability to conduct checks remotely. 

Deferring the end date of the adjusted checks to 5 April 2022 ensures the Right to Work Scheme continues to operate in a manner that supports employers, the Government maintains, whilst it looks to implement a long-term, post-pandemic solution.

The following temporary changes were made on 30 March 2020 and will remain in place until 5 April 2022 (inclusive):

  • Checks can currently be carried out over video calls.
  • Job applicants and existing workers can send scanned documents or a photo of documents for checks using email or a mobile app, rather than sending originals.
  • Employers should use the Home Office Employer Checking Service if a prospective or existing employee cannot provide any of the accepted documents.


Checks continue to be necessary and employers must continue to check the prescribed documents set out in right to work checks: an employer’s guide or use the Home Office right to work online service. It remains an offence to knowingly employ anyone who does not have the right to work in the UK.

For further guidance read Government guidance on right to work checks.