Virtual right to work check – who offers them?

From 1 October the government will make its virtual right to work check permanent. The Home Office has drawn up a list of approved digital ID check providers. Which one could be best for your small business?

UPDATED: The Government will introduce a new virtual right to work check from 1 October.

Before the pandemic, businesses typically checked out new recruits by meeting them in person and seeing physical copies of their passports.

The rules were temporarily changed on 30 March 2020 as remote working required checks to be made online, with employees simply holding up their passports to screens at home.

The Home Office announced in December 2021 that it would continue to allow employers to carry out virtual checks despite the return to offices, but from 6 April 2022 businesses would need to use third-party software to make these checks.

This deadline has since been pushed back to 1 October 2022. 

Virtual right to work checks operate in much the same way that businesses must license approved software to file their VAT returns through HMRC’s Making Tax Digital system. Many small businesses have questioned how exactly MTD helps their business apart from adding to their administrative burden plus costs.

Despite digital right to work affecting every UK business, research from digital identity start-up Xydus and Censuswide has found widespread ignorance among UK businesses ahead of October’s deadline:

• 48% of businesses are unprepared for the deadline
• 78% were oblivious to the fact they can face a prison sentence if non-compliant
• 3% admit to not conducting right to work checks at all, which is illegal

Russell King, CEO of Xydus, said: “The list of potential consequences for getting digital right to work checks wrong is worrying many UK businesses. This research reinforces what we’ve seen and heard for quite some time, that many businesses still have a wide knowledge gap on the details and implications of these major changes in RTW legislation.”

Who needs a right to work check?

According to the Immigration, Nationality and Asylum Act, employers must carry out due diligence to confirm any temporary, part-time or permanent employee has the right to work in the UK before they can begin employment.

Right to Work extends to any work experience or unpaid workers.

The Home Office requires all businesses to keep evidence of all right to work checks they carry out, as well as checking the document proffered is genuine and the applicant is its rightful holder.

What happens if I ignore the check?

Employers face a fine of up to £20,000 for each employee if they are found to be working in the UK illegally or could even face jail time. Right to work checks are required for all British and Irish nationals as well as EEA and Non-EEA nationals.

Which software providers offer virtual right to work checks?


Founded: 2017

Description of Right to Work ID checking service: Credas offers Right to Work ID checks through its portal and mobile app. It uses biometric facial recognition and liveness detection to verify the individual’s identity. It then uses NFC technology to read the cryptographic chip in a UK passport to confirm it is genuine. Finally, it combines the two checks to verify the individual matches the image within the verified document.

Available for iOs/Android? Both

Why is your digital ID service the one small businesses should choose?

We require minimal data input from employers with only an email or mobile number required to initiate the process. The prospective employer then only needs to take a photo, scan their ID document and confirm their address and DOB. We then use a range of data sources to verify their identity. Our app is used to conduct an ID check every 5 seconds and we have over 100,000 reviews across the iOS & android app stores.

Minimum term contact?

12 months

How much does it cost? Tier plans, etc.

Credas offers different tiers based on the number of checks a business will carry a month. Its gateway level subscriptions costs just £60 a month which includes 40 checks. It also offer integration/API options for larger firms.






Founded: 2013

Description of Right to Work ID checking service: 

TrustID offer the broadest range of Right to Work services:

Digital checks for UK/Irish citizens

The employer issues an email from within TrustID’s web-based service inviting an applicant to capture and upload an image of their eligible document (an in-date biometric passport or passport card) via their smartphone or tablet device along with a “selfie”. The service then validates the identity document, runs a biometric face match and returns a report to the employer’s dashboard, including confirmation that the relevant Level of Confidence has been met. 

Non-UK/Irish citizens with an eVisa

To check an eVisa, an employer must use a share code and date of birth provided by an applicant. The employer can enter this information directly into the Home Office checking service or through the interface that TrustID has built in its service. By entering it through the TrustID service, we also asks for a selfie from the applicant to match against the image on the Sharecode report and protect against imposter fraud.

Physical document RtW checks

If you’re seeing a candidate’s original documents – either because you have chosen face to face recruitment or because your candidates aren’t eligible for a digital check – you can also use TrustID’s Right to Work services. The process works in the same way as its digital check except that the employer captures and uploads the document image directly into their web browser. TrustID then assesses whether the identity document is genuine and also whether it gives the applicant eligibility to work in the UK and return a report for your records.

Available for iOS/Android? Both

Why is your digital ID service the one small businesses should choose?

  • The TrustID service is the perfect fit for smaller businesses who are looking for a flexible, scalable service which offers reliable results and no minimum contract term.
  • We can help you manage all checks, digital and non-digital, in one service
  • Our pricing is based on a pay-per-check model with customers buying bundles of credits, according to the volume of checks. There are no hidden set-up or licence fees, credits are valid for two years and you can top up at any time.
  • Our services are intuitive and easy to use. You can be up and running within days and there’s nothing to download for either the employer or their applicant.
  • Our service combines technology with a team of industry-leading Right to Work experts. So, if an employer or their applicant has questions, they can ask our UK-based team seven days a week, 365 days a year from 8am to midnight.
  • We support over 1,200 customers across all sectors and sizes and have a 97 per cent customer retention rate.

Minimum term contact?

Our credit bundles are valid for 24 months, with no minimum term contract. When an employer has used up all their checks, they can choose to “top-up” their account at any time or they are free to leave.

How much does it cost? Tier plans, etc.

Pricing varies depending on the services chosen and the volume of credits, with price breaks at 100, 1,000 and 5,000 checks.

We offer digital Right to Work checks for between £2 and £3.50 depending on the services required. There’s no additional charge for our human team to look at the check. We’re happy to share a full quote based on an individual business’ requirement.



Founded: 2014

What it offers: As the UK’s first certified Identity Services Provider (IDSP), Yoti and Post Office say they have built the most inclusive and comprehensive set of identity verification channels.

It offers three ways for an individual to prove their right to work and DBS checks:

  • Online ID verification – candidates can upload their documents and a selfie to a company’s website or app 
  • Digital ID app – individuals can create a reusable digital ID on their phone and share identity details, which are pre-verified by Yoti. This is particularly useful for people like contractors and temporary workers who need to do this regularly
  • In-branch verification – those who prefer some human assistance can take their documents to a Post Office branch to be scanned by a postmaster

Available for iOs/Android? Both

Why your small business should choose Yoti:

  • Together with Post Office, Yoti offers the most inclusive and comprehensive service – giving individuals three ways to prove their identity for Right to Work and DBS checks
  • For many candidates, you’ll need to verify their Right to Work and perform a DBS check. We’re a certified identity services provider for both
  • Our Right to Work solutions are cost effective, with an identity check starting from just 75p
  • Additionally, we also offer Right to Work checks through our eSigning platform – once you’ve completed your vetting checks, send candidates the final job contract to get signed digitally and get new hires onboard in an instant
  • We are already working with many of the largest screening companies in the UK, who have recognised the unique proposition the Yoti and Post Office partnership offers

Minimum term contact?

Pay as you go model for Right to Work checks.

How much does it cost?

Yoti is in the process of updating its prices but a basic check can start as low as £0.75p

More on right to work check

Businesses must pay for digital ID checking from April

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Tim Adler

Tim Adler is group editor of Small Business, Growth Business and Information Age. He is a former commissioning editor at the Daily Telegraph, who has written for the Financial Times, The Times and the...