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Human Resources

Guidance on Right to Work Checks

End of Temporary Covid-adjusted Right To Work Checks: 1st Oct 2022

From 1 October 2022, UK employs will no longer be able to use the temporary Covid-adjusted right to work guidance. This means that hiring departments will no-longer be able to ask prospective employees to share a scanned copy or photo of their documents and then confirm their identity over a video call.

Instead, hiring departments will be required to resume pre-pandemic methods of check, specifically for British and Irish citizens, requiring a physical “in-person” review of an individual’s documentation prior to engagement with Queen Mary.  

There are  two types of right to work check that UK employers are required to conduct. The appropriate check will depend on the status of the job applicant.  In summary, and from the 1st October 2022, Queen Mary will operate to the following:

For British and Irish citizens:

  • The right to work status must be checked manually (i.e. a physical check).

For non-British citizens (holding a Biometric Residence Permits (BRP), Biometric Residence Cards (BRC) or Frontier Worker Permits):

  • The right to work status must be confirmed by the Home Office via an official online check.

If an applicant cannot show their documents. You must contact the Home Office Employer Checking Service. If the person has a right to work, the Employer Checking Service will send you a ‘Positive Verification Notice’. This provides you with a statutory excuse for 6 months from the date in the notice.

It remains an offence to work illegally in the UK. Any individual identified who is disqualified from working by reason of their immigration status, may be liable to enforcement action.

IMPORANT NOTICE: If in doubt about an individual’s ability to work in the UK, please contact HR prior to the person undertaking any work.

Manual Right To Work Checks:

From the 1st October 2022 hiring departments and HR will revert back to the “three step” approach for conducting manual “in-person” right to work checks:

  • Obtain: You must see the applicant’s original documents.
  • Check: You must check that the documents are valid with the applicant physically present.
  • Copy: You must make and keep copies of the documents and record the date you made the checks.

It is vital that three step approach must be conducted prior to the engagement of an applicant. Checks made on or after first day of employment are considered invalid by the Home Office. It is equally important that copies of relevant documents are secured in a timely manner and submitted to HR for verification as part of the pre-engagement recruitment process.  

How to conduct a check

It is essential that you conduct a right to work checks before any work is undertaken. You may conduct either a physical document check or perform an online check to establish a right to work. An explanation for each method is below however, it is not necessary to do both.

Where an online check cannot be used then a physical check must be done instead. 

Physical Document Check

The eligible documents are divided into two distinct lists, List A and List B. 

  • List A documents give the University a continuous statutory excuse for the duration of the individual's employment.
  • List B documents give the University a time-limited statutory excuse for the duration the document remains valid. Additional checks will need to be undertaken for those who present documents from List B.

Only documents from these lists can be accept as evidence of a right to work. A link to Home Office checklist is below, please note that where it says current we cannot accept expired documents. 

Acceptable evidence of a Right to Work

Online Document Check

For an online right to work check (available in respect of those with a biometric residence permit, a biometric residence card, an electronic visa, or have status issued under the EU settlement scheme). The individual will need to produce a share code to allow you to access their online record.

Please ensure the individual enters the email address of the person undertaking the check, not their own email address.  

Checking the Right To Work during Covid-adjusted period and until 30th September:

Until 30th September 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.


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