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Background screening expert welcomes delay to in-person Right to Work checks

May 12th, 2021

Specialist background screening and identity services firm, Sterling, has welcomed the delay to the return of in-person Right to Work (RTW) checks, but has called for ‘serious consideration’ of a hybrid approach.

Steve Smith, Managing Director EMEA, Sterling, explained:

“We’re pleased that the Home Office has delayed the return to in-person RTW checks, however we are hopeful that some flexibility remains for the new intended rollout date. While restrictions are slowly being eased, last year showed us that things can change at a moment’s notice, and it’s crucial that in-person requirements are considered in line with the latest Covid-specific developments.

Perhaps more importantly, though, we feel that the success of the remote Right to Work check process throughout the pandemic shouldn’t be overlooked. While we recognise that in-person checks may be necessary when the time is right, the progress that has been made through utilising technology can improve the process and better identify fraud in the future, and this opportunity shouldn’t be missed. Many companies have built digital and biometric identity checks into their screening programmes which has in turn decreased the potential of identity fraud – progress that should be built upon.

The work that went into getting the RTW share code process in place has also proven highly valuable over the last 18 months and the tool has, in many instances, streamlined the process itself. We do recognise that in-person checks are sometimes a necessity, but a complete return to pre-pandemic processes would undo the fantastic developments we’ve seen in the employment screening world and we urge the Government to consider a possible hybrid approach. We also encourage Government agencies to be more connected in their identity strategies. The modern world of work needs consistent and approved digital identity methods in place with an inter-departmental trust framework that supports and enables remote hiring and background checks. Without this, the speed of economic recovery could be dampened.”


About Sterling
Sterling—a leading provider of background and identity services—offers a foundation of trust and safety that spans across industries, professions, and borders. Our technology-powered services help organisations create great environments for their workers, partners, and customers. With office locations around the world, Sterling conducts more than 75 million searches annually. Visit Sterling online at

Media Contact: Jamie Serino | 001.646.435.2263

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