The University is legal obligied to check the right to work in the UK for all potential employees before they commence employment.
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.
No-one should commence employment before a valid right to work check has been taken, or without a contract of employment.
If there are any doubts about someone’s ability to work in the UK, please contact HR prior to the person undertaking any work.
Checking for the right to work during the COVID-19 Pandemic
Since March 2020, the University has been able to accept electronic copies of right to work documents in place of undertaking in-person checks. This allowance was made by the Home Office in order to allow employers to continue to appoint new staff during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Until 5 April 2022 the University can accept remote right to work checks as long as they have been undertaken in line with our temporary right to work policy.
Those carrying out temporary adjusted checks must:
- ask the worker to submit a scanned copy or a photo of their original documents via email or using a mobile app
- arrange a video call with the worker – ask them to hold up the original documents to the camera and check them against the digital copy of the documents, record the date the check was made and mark it as “adjusted check undertaken on [insert date] due to COVID-19”; or
- if the worker has a current Biometric Residence Permit or Biometric Residence Card or has been granted status under the EU Settlement Scheme or the points-based immigration system online right to work checking service can be used while doing a video call – the applicant must give permission to view their details.
End of Temporary Remote Right to Work Checks
On 5 April 2022 the concessions for remote right to work checks will end. From 6 April 2022 all right to work checks must either be:
- an in-person check of the applicant’s original documents, or
- an electronic check of the applicant’s right to work online, if they’ve given you their share code.
please note that only those with a BRP, status under the EU Settlement Scheme, or EEA nationals with an electronic visa can use the online right to work check.
Conducting a Right to Work Check
- 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.
Employee's who present a valid list B document as evidence of their right to work will require a follow up check to ensure they they can still legally work in the UK.
As the manager of a member of staff working at Queen Mary on a UK visa, you should be aware of your responsibilities for ensuring that Queen Mary is compliant with immigration rules and that your staff do not breach their visa conditions.
All staff are required to demonstrate that they have the right to work for the duration of their employment.
HR has a record of all time limited visas and will normally send a reminder to staff to renew their visas 3 months prior to their visa expiry date. As a line manager you should ensure that you are aware of your staff’s visa expiry dates and actively encourage them to renew their visas promptly so that you can be confident that they will still be able to work after their visa expires.
Once an individual has successfully applied for a new visa a new right to work check must be conducted. This must be done as soon as possible after the individual receives their new visa.
From 1 July 2021, the majority of EEA citizens will prove their right to work using the Home Office online right to work service. Those who have made a successful application to the EU SEttlement Scheme will have been granted their immigration status digitally and can only prove their right to work using Home Office online service ‘prove your right to work to an employer’ available on GOV.UK: https://www.gov.uk/prove-right-to-work.
To prove their right to work from 1 July 2021, individuals will provide the University with a share code and their date of birth, which will enable us to check their Home Office immigration status via the online service available on GOV.UK: https://www.gov.uk/view-right-to-work.
The University will obtain a statutory excuse against liability for a civil penalty if you carry out the check using the online service.
- If an EEA citizen has been granted ‘Settled Status’ by the Home Office, they will have a continuous right to work, in the same way as someone with Indefinite Leave to Enter / Remain status.
- If an EEA citizen has been granted ‘Pre-Settled Status’ by the Home Office, they will have a time-limited right to work and you must carry out a follow-up check. The Home Office online service will advise when a follow-up check must be carried out.
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.
Exceptions to the Home Office online service when proving right to work
As of 1 July, there will be some cohorts of EEA citizens who will not have status under the EUSS. They will evidence their right to work using specified documents if they cannot use the Home Office online system. These are detailed below:
- Frontier Worker Permits
- Service Provider of Switzerland visas
- Outstanding applications to UK EUSS
- Outstanding applications to Crown Dependency EUSS
- EEA citizens with Indefinite Leave to Enter/Remain
- Points-Based System visas
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.
EEA nationals who wish to come to the UK for work or study after 1 January 2021 will generally require a visa before they can enter the country.
EEA nationals who successfully apply for a visa will not be issued with a Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) they will have an online status only. This will need to be checked via the the Home Office's online checking service rather than as a physical check.
More information about electronic visas for EEA nationals can be found on the Home Office website.