September 20th, 2022 | Sterling

Right to work checks are changing on October 1st. Are you ready?

On Friday, September 30th, the temporary measures for UK Right to Work (RTW) checks end and will be replaced with digital identity verification in line with UK Home Office guidance. From Saturday, October 1st, all identity verification checks for UK RTW need to be conducted via a certified digital identity provider (IDSP) such as Sterling, or they must be carried out in-person, while remote verification via video call will no longer be acceptable.

The temporary measures for RTW checks were introduced in March 2020 to enable employers to recruit whilst still conforming to Covid-19 social distancing guidelines. During this time, employers have been allowed to check an individual’s right to work in the UK via a video call. As a result, UK businesses have also been able to overcome traditional barriers to remote hiring and secure talent and skills that they wouldn’t previously have been able to access due to restrictive hiring rules. This created an ideal opportunity for Sterling, along with other industry leaders, to amplify efforts to promote the benefits of using digital identity verification solutions and to encourage the UK Home Office to accelerate plans to introduce new rules enabling the use of digital identity verification.

The UK Digital Identity and Attributes Framework

The UK Government has introduced a Digital Identity and Attributes Framework to enable the consistent and secure use of digital identity. This has been set up to create a consistent set of rules that IDSPs should follow. As a certified IDSP, Sterling is allowed to prove and verify a candidate’s identity on behalf of an employer by carrying out digital identity checks for British and Irish citizens who provide valid passports (including passport card).

What is Digital Identity?

At the most basic level, the UK government defines a digital identity as “a digital representation of a person acting as an individual or as a representative of an organisation. ” This enables an individual to prove who they are during interactions and transactions, which can be used online or physically in-person. Organisations and employers that endorse the use of digital identities can better trust the identity of the person in question. The use of a certified IDSP provides employers with a ‘statutory excuse’ and proof that they have taken the correct steps to protect themselves against employing an illegal worker.

Sterling’s Digital Identity Verification Service

Sterling now provides a service that checks the candidate’s identity documents using a unique combination of artificial intelligence and (as required) expert human review. It integrates ID technology seamlessly at the start of a Right to Work or DBS Criminal record check, helping to detect identity fraud and protect employers at the same time. Our service provides candidates an easy, convenient, and efficient way to verify identity from anywhere, anytime. We leverage revolutionary facial recognition and fraud detection technology for greater accuracy and fewer screening errors, providing a seamless hiring experience.

If you missed our ‘Background Screening Essentials’ webinar on digital identity and would like to catch-up on-demand, you can watch our recording here. Alternatively you may wish to visit our Digital Identity Hub to view helpful and curated content.


This publication is for informational purposes only and nothing contained in it should be construed as legal advice. We expressly disclaim any warranty or responsibility for damages arising out this information. We encourage you to consult with legal counsel regarding your specific needs. We do not undertake any duty to update previously posted materials.