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Human Resources

How to Conduct a Right to Work Check

Right to work checks of the indivdual's original documents must be completed before work commences. It is generally recommended that checks are carried out at the interview stage to ensure the University has checked and retained copies of a worker's original document and are satisfied they can work legally in the UK. This gives 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. 

Acceptable Right to Work

It is essential that you conduct right to work checks before any work is undertaken. You may conduct 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 documents that can be accepted as evidence of right to work are set out in the Immigration (Restrictions on Employment) Order 2007.  The eligible documents are divided into two distinct lists, List A and List B. 

  • List A documents give the University a continuious 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

Conducting a Right to Work Check 

  1. Obtain: You must see the applicant’s original documents.

  2. Check: You must check that the documents are valid with the applicant present.

  3. Copy: You must make and keep copies of the documents and record the date you made the check.

What to check

You need to check that:

  • the documents are genuine, original and unchanged and belong to the person who has given them to you
  • the dates for the applicant’s right to work in the UK have not expired
  • photos are the same across all documents and look like the applicant
  • dates of birth are the same across all documents
  • the applicant has permission to do the type of work you’re offering (including any limit on the number of hours they can work)
  • for students you see evidence of their study and vacation times
  • if two documents give different names, the applicant has supporting documents showing why they’re different, such as a marriage certificate or divorce decree

All right to work checks must be signed and verified using the following statement 

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.

If the job applicant cannot show their documents

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.

Online Document Check

For an online right to work check (available in respect of those with a biometric residence permit, a biometric residence card or have status issued under the EU settlement scheme).There are three basic steps to conducting an online right to work check:

The individual will need to produce a share code to allow you to access their online record. 

  1. use the Home Office online right to work checking service (the ‘View a job applicant’s right to work details’ page) in respect of an individual and only employ the person, or continue to employ an existing employee, if the online check confirms they are entitled to do the work in question;
  2. satisfy yourself that any photograph on the online right to work check is of the individual presenting themselves for work; and
  3. retain a clear copy of the response provided by the online right to work check (storing that response securely, electronically or in hardcopy) for the duration of employment and for two years afterwards.

A note on Biometric Residence Permits (BRP) ending on 31 December 2024

Please note that a present the Home Office are only issuing BRPs that are valid to 31 December 2024 even if the individual's permission of leave is longer. If you conduct both a physical and online check for the holder of a BRP you will notice this discrepency in the end date of their visa.  

The issue is due to the current encryption technology standards for BRPs which is due to be replaced in the coming years.  

The end date listed on the online system is the correct end date but the individual will be required to obtain a new BRP for the remainder of their leave. The Home Office will publish more information about how to do this in 2024.

Further information: 


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