The University is legal obligied to check the right to work in the UK for all potential employees before they commence work.
Undertaking these checks ensures that the University has a statutory excuse against sanction from the Home Office.
All right to work checks should be uploaded to i-grasp and will be checked by HR before a contract is issued.
If there are any doubts about someone’s ability to work in the UK, please contact HR prior to the person undertaking any work.
- Right to Work checks must be done for all prospective employees prior to their first day of employment.
- A right to work check must be done irrespective of the length of the engagement or employment contract.
- A check must be done each time the person is engaged by the University. We cannot reuse previous right to work checks.
- Only documents from lists A or B of the attached document are acceptable evidence of a right to work
- The most up to date version of this list will always be on the Home Office website here.
- Documents not listed will be rejected and delay the employee’s start date.
Step 1: Obtain original versions of one or more of the acceptable documents;
Step 2: Check the original documents in the presence of the holder of the documents;
Step 3: Make copies of the documents, retain copies and a record of the date on which the check is made.
- All documents must be clear and legible in a format which cannot later be altered.
- All right to work checks must be signed and dated by the person checking the document.
- The following statement must be used to certify that the original has been seen:
the date on which this right to work check was made was [insert date].
The University can accept an expired passport or national ID card only in the following circumstances:
- The holder is a British or Irish Citizen; or
- The holder is an EEA national.
All other candidates must provide valid documentation that is in date to support their right to work.
Non-EEA nationals who are in the UK on a student visa may be able to work for Queen Mary depending on the conditions of their visa.
A Tier 4 or Student visa issued for full-time degree level studies allows students to work for a maximum of 20 hours per week during term-time. This is a maximum of 20 hours in total in any one week, including paid or unpaid work and for one or more organisation. The 20 hours cannot be averaged over a longer period. A 'week' is defined by the Home Office as a period of 7 days beginning with a Monday. Please note that the definition of term time will vary depending on the student’s level of study.
Further information on employing students can be found in the Managers Guidance section here.
A Tier 2 / Skilled Worker visa holder, not sponsored by Queen Mary, may be able to work for the University where the following requirements are met:
- The job is either included on the Shortage Occupation List, or is in the same profession and at the same professional level, as the work for which their Certificate of Sponsorship was assigned; and
- Is for no more than 20 hours per week; and
- Conducted outside of the normal working hours for which their Certificate of Sponsorship was assigned. The individual must be continuing to work for their sponsor.
In addition, they must continue to work for their sponsor in the job recorded on their Certificate of Sponsorship.
If you wish to employ someone on a Tier 2 / Skilled Worker visa
Please contact HR before engaging anyone on a Tier 2 /Skilled Worker visa; we will require sight of the following documents:
- Their right to work documents;
- Their Certificate of Sponsorship;
- Confirmation from their employer that this role will not interfere with their regular employment;
- A completed Supplementary Work Declaration [DOC 122KB].
More information about the Skilled Worker route can be found in Guidance for Managers.
Endorsements showing that the prospective employee is exempt from immigration control, is allowed to stay indefinitely (ILR) in the UK, or has no time limit on their stay in the UK can only be relied on if they are in a current passport.
Where someone has an expired passport endorsed to show that they are exempt from immigration control, is allowed to stay indefinitely in the UK, or has no time limit on their stay in the UK (whether in the form of a stamp or a visa) they will need to submit a No Time Limit application to the Home Office to be issued with a BRP, showing that they have Indefinite Leave to Remain/ No Time Limit on their stay in the UK.
Please note that refugee and asylum seekers require additional evidence before we can establish whether they can work in the UK. Refugees are generally issued a Blue British Travel Document and a Biometric Residence Card. We require sight of both of these documents, the travel document alone is not evidence of a right to work.
Asylum seekers are issued with an Application Registration Card (ARC), which will look the same as a BRP. This alone is not evidence of a right to work; HR will also need to contact the Home Office via the Employer Checking Service to confirm any right to work. Please contact HR before employing anyone considered a refugee or asylum seeker.
If a refugee or asylum seeker is unable to work it will be stated on the BRP / ARC.
EEA nationals resident in the UK before 31 December do not require a work visa
EEA nationals who were resident in the UK by 11pm on 31 December 2020 will not need a visas.
Instead they must apply to the EU Settlement Scheme. This is free and straightforward scheme which most EEA nationals living in the UK have already applied. The deadline for applications is 30 June 2021.
The Home Office has issued guidance stating that you cannot require new or existing employees to show you their status under the EU Settlement Scheme until after 30 June 2021 (although they can show you if they wish). Until that date, an EU passport or identity card is sufficient for a right to work check on an EEA national.
All EEA nationals arriving from 1 January 2021 onwards require a work visa before they arrive in the UK.
In advance of the UK’s exit from the EU, the UK government has committed to protect the rights of EU citizens and their family members currently living in the UK. This includes the right to live here, work here and access public services such as healthcare and benefits.
Launch in March 2019, the EU Settlement Scheme is designed to protect the rights of EEA and Swiss nationals resident in the UK.
The EU Settlement Scheme provides an online status confirming an individual's right to work in the UK.
Checking for EU Settled Status
There is no requirement for EEA and Swiss nationals to confirm that they have EU Settled Status at this time, however it can be used to prove a right to work. From January 2021 onwards we will need to check this system in addition to checking a passport copy.
EU Settled Status can be checked online on the Government website. The individual will provide you with a "share code" which you can use to access their online account.
Anyone coming to the University to undertake any form of work whether paid or unpaid will require a right to work check. If you intend to invite someone to Queen Mary to undertake any work please ensure that they apply for the correct visa prior to their arrival in the UK.
If the person you have invited arrives on a tourist visa they will not be able to work.
Please refer to the Academic visitor guidance for further information.
HR will need to contact the Home Office to check an employee or potential employee’s immigration employment status if one of the following applies:
- you’re reasonably satisfied that they cannot show you their documents because of an outstanding appeal, administrative review or application with the Home Office
- they have an Application Registration Card
- they have a Certificate of Application that is less than 6 months old
- they’re a Commonwealth citizen who’s been living in the UK since before 1988
Application registration cards and certificates of application must state that the work the employer is offering is permitted. Many of these documents do not allow the person to work.
The Home Office will send the University a ‘Positive Verification Notice’ to confirm that the applicant has the right to work.
The end of the Brexit transition period
On 1 January 2021 free movement between the UK and EU ended.
EEA National who were resident in the UK before 11pm on 31 December 2020 will continue to be considered settled workers but must apply to the EU Settlement Scheme before 30 June 2021.
To allow EEA nationals time to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme, the Home Office have instigated a grace period for right to work checks. Between now and 30 June 2021, EEA passports and national ID cards will continue to be considered acceptable evidence of a right to work.
You will however, need to be mindful of the status of an EEA national before making an offer of employment as non-UK resident EEA nationals will need a visa to work in the UK.
- EEA nationals who were resident in the UK by 31 December 2020 are protected by the Withdrawal Agreement. They continue to be considered settled workers.
- EEA nationals who are not or have never been resident in the UK will lose their automatic right to work in the UK. They will require a visa to work before they enter the UK.
Job applicants will be asked about their status by a series of branching questions,, HR will identify those who require a work visa and will instigate this conversation. You will not be required to establish the status of EEA applicants.