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Right to Work Document Checklist

When you apply for a job you are asked to submit a set of documents to your new employer for right to work checks to take place. This is a legal obligation of every country, regardless of your nationality.

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Why are Right to Work Checks Necessary?

Right to work checks have been implemented by the Home Office to ensure that a companies employees are legally permitted to work in the UK.

It is essential that all UK employers perform right to work checks before they proceed to recruit anybody in their company. The Home Office have very strict guidelines surrounding illegal working and exploitation of vulnerable individuals, which is why employers must ensure they act correctly and accordingly to avoid any implications due to failure to comply with regulations.

Right to work checks must be carried out promptly using one of the following methods:

  • Manual checks of acceptable documents provided to you by the overseas employee
  • Use of the Home Office online right to work checker

If you have any questions about right to work checks and the right to work checklist, our trained immigration lawyers can offer expert advice. Call us today on 0333 305 9375 for immediate help and assistance.

Eligibility to Work in the UK

Before an employer goes ahead and conducts the correct checks, it needs to be determined if the individual meets the eligibility criteria to work in the UK. A person will be eligible to work in the UK if they are:

No matter a person’s race or nationality, they must provide right-to-work evidence to their new employer. Even if they are a British citizen or nationals. This is a legal requirement, and failure to do so can result in a job offer being withdrawn.

Manual Right-to-Work Checklist

The manual right-to-work checklist is split into three parts: obtain, check and copy.

Obtain the acceptable documents

You must request certain documents from your new employee to begin the work-checking process. The documents in question are split into three separate lists, which can prove a valid ‘excuse’ for an individual to seek employment in the UK.

List A

List A documents refer to those who have a permanent right to work in the UK, for example, a person with Indefinite Leave to Remain. Once the initial pre-employment check is done, you will not need to perform another check for this employee in the future.

List B

List B is further split into two separate groups- group 1 and group 2. This document category is for those coming to work in the UK on a temporary basis. The documents required will depend on the ‘excuse’ you require.

Group 1 documents will give the employer a ‘time-limited statutory excuse’ which will run out once the employee reaches their right to work expiry date. Further right-to-work checks will be required once the right-to-work is due to expire.

Group 1 documents provide a fixed 6 months statutory excuse. Further checks will again need to be carried out before your employees right to work expires. Right to work can refer to the foreign nationals’ UK work visa.

Checking of acceptable documents

With the correct documents obtained employers can begin to check an individual’s right to work in the UK. Employers must also check against the following criteria:

  • Documents must be original copies and not fake or tampered with in any way at all
  • The names and titles on the documents must remain consistent throughout with minimal discrepancies
  • Photographs on the documents must be authentic and consistent throughout each document presented
  • You must also check whether an employee has any work restrictions

Copy right to work documents for your records

Once all of the documents have been checked against the criteria listed above, you are required to take a copy of each document and retain it for work records. These documents will then need to be stored away in line with your company’s data protection and confidentiality regulations. Breaches of personal data can result in serious legal implications.

You will need to keep copies of the following documents:

  • Passports
  • Biometric residence permit
  • Application cards
  • Birth or adoption certificate
Workman carrying out electrical work

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List A Documents

  • Passport- either in date or expired which proves the persons’ identity and nationality, showing that the holder is a British citizen or a British national
  • A passport or passport card- showing that the holder is an Irish national
  • A current biometric immigration document, or, biometric residence permit issued by the Home Office which shows the individual has the right to work and live in the UK indefinitely
  • A valid passport that shows the individual is free of immigration control and can work and live in the UK freely
  • A UK birth or adoption certificate combined with a national insurance document stating the person’s permanent national insurance number and their name. This document needs to be issued by a government agency or a previous employer
  • A birth or adoption certificate issued in the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man or Ireland combined with a document containing a person’s permanent national insurance number and their name
  • A certificate of naturalisation or registration as a British citizen, together with an official document giving the person’s permanent national insurance number and their name
  • A current immigration status document which has been issued to the individual by the Home Office with an endorsement that states the person named can remain in the UK indefinitely

List B Group 1 Documents

  • A passport with a valid endorsement indicating that one can stay in the UK and has the correct permission to do the job stated
  • A current biometric immigration document, or, biometric residence permit issued by the Home Office which states that the named person can stay in the UK and work
  • A current document issued by the Home Office issued to a family member of an EEA or swiss citizen
  • A current immigration status document with a valid photograph issued by the Home Office

List B Group 2 Documents

  • A document issued by the Home Office that indicates that the individual has submitted an application for leave or enter to remain under appendix EU (EU Settlement Scheme)
  • An application registration card or document issued by the Home Office which indicates the individual is permitted to work in the UK in the specified job role, along with a positive verification notice issued by the Home Office employer checking service
  • A positive verification notice issued by the Home Office employer checking service, which states the named person can stay in the UK and work
  • A certificate of application issued by the Home Office which shows that the named person has submitted an application for Indefinite Leave to Remain under appendix EU

The Home Office’s online right-to-work checker

The Home Office employer checking service is in place to provide a quick and efficient way for a prospective employer to check a person’s right to work in the UK. You can use the checking service to check the following details about a job applicant:

  • The types of work they are permitted to undertake in the UK
  • How long the named person can work in the UK, or, if they have a time limit on the time they can remain in the UK and carry out work duties

In order to use the checking service for the reasons listed above, you must know ask the job applicant for their date of birth and their right to work share code. If the applicant does not have access to a right-to-work share code, you can opt to check somebodies original documents instead via the tools on the checking service tools on the government website.

You can use the Home Office online service for the following individual circumstances:

  • An individual with a valid biometric residence permit
  • An individual who has EU pre or settled status under the EU settlement scheme
  • An individual who has lawful status issued under the points-based immigration system
  • An individual who has a British National Overseas (BNO) visa
  • An individual who has a Frontier Worker Permit issued by the Home Office

Follow Up Checks

Both of the list B categories will require a follow-up check from the employer. If you have a time-limited statutory excuse the repeated check needs to be completed at least every 12 months- these follow-up checks will need to be in conjunction with the employees’ visa expiry date.

Anybody who presents documents from list A is not eligible for repeat checks and can continue to work for you with no further checking needed unless their personal circumstances and it is absolutely necessary.

Failure to keep up-to-date documentation and checks on your overseas employees can result in your business coming under scrutiny from the Home Office and other relevant authorities.

Right to Work Circumstances Have Changed

Sometimes follow-up checks can result in discovering that an employee has beached their visa terms or has perhaps lost their right to work. If this is the case, you must take the correct action to avoid you and your company becoming liable for illegally employing a worker who has not got the correct permissions to work in the United Kingdom.

You must seek assistance from Human Resources or a lawyer to source the next steps of action before acting in haste and immediately dismissing the employee who has lost their right to work. Immediate dismissal without assistance first could potentially result in unfair dismissal or discrimination on the companies part.

What Happens if a Company Does Not Carry out the Specified Right-to-Work Checks?

Failure to comply with the law and carry out the correct procedure for right-to-work checks can result in severe legal implications for a company and its employees. Legal action taken could include any of the following actions:

  • A fine of up to £20,000 per illegal working person in the company
  • Closure of the business
  • Disqualification or termination of the business director
  • Not being able to sponsor migrants
  • Seizure of earnings made as a result of illegal working
  • Licenses for job industries such as hospitality and transport
  • A criminal conviction with a prison sentence of up to 5 years
Person holding a black folder

How can IAS help?

Ensuring that the right-to-work checklist is followed and that the process is conducted correctly and thoroughly is essential to avoid any breaches of the law.

Immigration Advice Service are experts on the matter and are ready and waiting to help you with your query. Whether it be your first-time conducting right-to-work checks, or you need assistance in obtaining copies of documents, the team are here to help you today.

For more information on how we can help, call our friendly team of advisors on  0333 305 9375 for immediate guidance.

We can help you if you need help with your Skilled Worker Visa application.

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