Right to work checks are vital, but can be time-consuming.

Here’s how to carry out these important processes, without losing valuable time. According to our research only 85% of employers are carrying out right to work checks when onboarding new candidates, meaning 15% of employers are skipping this vital step.1

In the UK, businesses can be fined and employers risk a criminal conviction for failing to carry out these checks on new hires. Home Office codes of practice state that you can be fined up to £20,000 per person for each member of staff found not to have full right to work in the UK.

“What is a right to work check? A right to work check means that you check a document which is acceptable for showing permission to work.” – Home Office 

Their reasoning? Home Office guidance states: “The ability to work illegally is a key driver of illegal migration. It leaves people vulnerable to exploitation and results in unscrupulous employers undercutting compliant businesses. It can also negatively impact on the wages of lawful workers and is linked to other labour market abuse such as tax evasion, breach of the national minimum wage and exploitative working conditions, including modern slavery in the most serious cases.” 2 That’s why employers in the UK have a responsibility to prevent illegal workers, by conducting simple right to work checks before employing someone.

But why do some employers avoid this essential step? Time could be a key factor, with 5% of respondents to our survey saying their right to work checks took more than a month to complete.1

Making sure that you have adhered to all the Home Office codes of practice can be time consuming, with results needing to be accurate, up-to-date and in line with immigration codes of practice and GDPR regulations.

So how can you make right to work checks work for you?

Experian’s Right to Work check app is a handy online tool with simple and efficient processes that gives you peace of mind that your checks are compliant with UK law, as well as giving your candidate a great first impression of your business.

Some of the great features of our Right to Work Check app include:

  • Step by step instructions which explain exactly what information is required. This ensures all users are following the same process, resulting in less training for your team.
  • State-of-the-art facial recognition and document validation technology, which means you can approve documents in seconds.
  • Digital storage within the right to work portal, resulting in less paperwork.
  • Re-check alerts three months before they’re needed, for employees who don’t have a permanent right to work in the UK.
  • The ability to import candidate information straight into your existing HR systems, helping to make your onboarding process quicker, easier and more accurate.


1. Successful onboarding in a competitive landscape, Experian

2. An employer’s guide to right to work checks, Home Office