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Checking for the Right to Work

When recruiting new staff members it is important that Hiring Managers are aware of their statutory obligations.  These affect all new hires but are of particular importance in the recruitment of non-EEA staff.  Once a conditional offer of employment has been accepted, recruiting managers must upload the following documents to the notes section of I-Grasp for authorisation:

  • Copies of Proof of Eligibility to work in the UK documents (passport, etc.), signed that the original has been seen
  • Copy of any essential qualification certificates.
  • Completed shortlisting form
  • Completed Interview Record Form

You must also make a contemporaneous record of the date on which you conducted your check. The purpose of this check is to provide Queen Mary with statutory excuse against liability for a civil penalty if it later comes to light that any worker has been working illegally in the UK. This following should be written on the document copy:

“I certify that the date on which this right to work check was made was [insert date]”.  All checks must be dated and contain the name of the person checking the document. 

Simply writing a date on the copy document does not, in itself, confirm that this is the actual date when the check was undertaken. If you write a date on the copy document, you must also record the fact that this is the date on which you conducted the check.

Taking Copies of Documents

When you are checking the validity of the documents, you must ensure that you do this in the presence of the holder. This can be a physical presence in person or via a live video link. In both cases, you must be in physical possession of the original documents. You may not rely on the inspection of the document via a live video link or by checking a faxed or scanned copy of the document. 

For each document, you must copy the following in a format that cannot be altered (for example a photocopy or scan):

  • Passports: The front page of the passport and any page with the document expiry date, the holder’s nationality, date of birth, signature, leave expiry date, biometric details, photograph and any page containing information indicating the holder has an entitlement to enter or remain in the UK (visa or entry stamp) and undertake the work in question.
  • All other documents: the document in full, including both sides of a Biometric Residence Permit, Application Registration Card and a Residence Card (biometric format).

You must write the following statement on all copies: “I certify that the date on which this right to work check was made was [insert date]”.  All checks must be dated and contain the name of the person checking the document. 

It is essential that you conduct right to work checks before any work is undertaken and that the correct documents are seen.  A list of the eligible documents is available on the government website

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