All Blog Videos Webinars
24 June 2024

Right to work checks for employers in 2024

Before a business employs a migrant worker, they must check whether the potential employee has the right to work in the UK. Woodcock Law can help you understand the essentials about the process of checking someone’s right to work.
Estimated reading time: 2 minutes
Right to work checks blog 2023

What is a right to work check?

A right to work check is something that employers must carry out before they employ a migrant worker. 

The check ensures whether it is legal for the migrant to work in the UK or not. Checks must be carried out online on the Government’s website.

How can I check an employees’ right to work?

You can check their right to work with their share code if they have provided it. Also, you can check their right to work with their original documents if they have not given you their share code.

They can also be checked through the use of a service that has Identity Document Validation Technology (IDVT).

Sometimes, the person’s right to work can be time-limited. Employers should check their employees’ documents when they are close to expiring.

What if they do not have any documents or a share code?

If they cannot provide the required information for a right to work check, you must contact the Home Office to check for you.

This may be the case if they arrived in the UK before 1989. However, it can also be a result of them having an outstanding application or appeal with the Home Office.

There may be other reasons you may have to contact the Home Office for a check. For example, if the applicant has a physical or digital Certificate of Application, or an Application Registration Card.

What might happen if I do not carry out the checks?

There will be penalties if you employ someone who turns out to not have the right to work in the UK.

You can read more about the penalties for employing illegal workers as of August 2023 on our blog.

When do right to work checks not need to be carried out?

In some cases, you do not need to carry out further right to work checks after the initial one when you first employed your overseas worker. 

People who have pre-settled status on the EU Settlement Scheme, for example, will not need their right to work checked after their status was extended from two to five years. 

Also, employers will not need to re-check their employees’ right to work if the employee has a Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) card that expires on the 31 December. Most BRP cards will be expiring, and biometric information is moving online.

However, you should still monitor the expiry date of your employees’ BRP cards, just to ensure that their card expires on 31 December, so you do not have to re-check their right to work. Continue to perform checks if it expires before then.

We will update this guide once more information about right to work checks has been released following the phase out of BRP cards.

How we can help you

Whilst we cannot do much to help you with right to work checks, we can assist you with other areas of business and immigration matters.

Our experienced law team can assist you with the process of applying for a Sponsor Licence that is required to hire overseas workers, renewing a licence, challenging a downgrade of your licence, do mock compliance checks, and more.

If your business needs our expert advice, contact us today.

Ready for assistance?

If you have any questions, or want to book an appointment with one of our legal experts, contact Woodcock Law today. Call us on +44 (0)20 7712 1705 or email

Are you looking for notarial services?

We assist both individuals and businesses with a range of notarial services. For more information about how we might be able to help, head over to our dedicated notary site.