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Conducting right to work checks

How to carry out the necessary checks to ensure workers are eligible to work in the UK.

The University is obliged to ensure all workers are eligible to work in the UK. It is vital that the appropriate checks are completed prior to any work being undertaken.

The checks must be applied equally to all workers to ensure we remain compliant with our duty to prevent illegal working and avoid unlawful discrimination.

Since 1 July 2021, EEA citizens and their family members now require immigration status in the UK. They are no longer able to prove their right to work using an EEA passport or national identity card. For further information on this, please visit our Right to work checks for EU, EEA and Swiss Citizens webpage.

How to conduct a right to work check

If you are a University representative (such as a recruiting manager, their designate, or a member of staff from HR) responsible for checking an individual's right to work documents (manually or online), you must take all reasonable steps to:

  • check the document presented is original and valid

  • satisfy yourself that the individual presenting themselves is the individual named in the document

  • check the documents allow them to do the work in question before the work commences

There are two types of right to work check − an online check (for non-British/Irish citizens) and a manual check (for British/Irish citizens).

Online check

An online check involves establishing the individual's right to work using the Home Office Online Right to Work Checking Service. You can use this check if someone has a biometric residence permit/card, status under the EU Settlement Scheme or has applied for a visa using the ID Check app. To conduct an online check, please follow the Home Office Online Right to Work Check Process webpage.

Manual check

A manual check is done in person and involves checking the individual's original documents. The next steps detail the process you'll need to carry out for a manual check.

Step 1 − obtain documents

When conducting a manual check, the documents you must accept from an individual to demonstrate their right to work are set out in two lists by the Home Office − List A or List B. You must obtain an original document or document combination specified in one of these lists in order to comply with Home Office requirements.

List A

List A contains the range of acceptable documents for an individual who has a permanent right to work in the UK. For example a British/Irish passport or Indefinite Leave to Remain/Settlement. A driving licence, National Insurance Number (on its own or in any format) or a bill issued by a financial institution or utility company are not considered acceptable identification documents. Once acceptable documents have been provided by an individual, there is no requirement to carry out a repeat check during their employment (unless there is a break in service or an hourly paid worker moves into a core role).

List B

List B contains the range of documents we can accept for an individual who has a temporary right to work in the UK. For these documents, it's necessary to carry out a repeat check before the individual’s current identification document expires, in order for them to continue working.

If an individual is working at the University under a sponsored route such as a Skilled Worker Visa (previously Tier 2 Visa), or a Temporary Work Visa, you must also ask them to provide you with a copy of their current passport. HR will keep this on file in addition to their visa (see Step 3).

Step 2 − check documents

For each document presented, you should:

  • check any photographs are consistent with the appearance of the individual (this means you must see them in person and not virtually)

  • check any dates of birth listed are consistent across documents and that you are satisfied these correspond with the appearance of the individual

  • check the expiry dates for permission to be in the UK have not passed

  • check any work restrictions to see if the individual is allowed to do the type of work you are offering

  • satisfy yourself that the documents are valid and genuine, have not been tampered with and belong to the holder

If the appearance of the individual does not correspond with the photograph and/or they want to be known under a different name, you must ask them to provide you with a further document to explain the reason for this. This could be a marriage/civil partnership certificate, a divorce decree absolute, an enrolled deed poll or gender recognition certificate, for example.

Step 3 − retain documents

You must make a copy of the relevant page or pages of the document in a format which cannot be subsequently altered (a PDF, for example). Typically, you should do this by photocopying and/or scanning the documents.

In the case of a passport or other identification document, the following parts must be photocopied and/or scanned.

Scanning passports

When scanning passports, please include any page showing the individual’s personal identity details. This includes name, nationality, date of birth, signature, immigration permission, biometric details and photograph, and document expiry date. Please also include any page containing information indicating the holder has an entitlement to enter or remain in the UK (visa or entry stamp) and carry out the work in question.

Scanning other documents

When scanning all other documents, please copy the document in full − including both sides of an Immigration Status Document and an Application Registration Card.

Each document should be photocopied and/or scanned separately and include the following declaration 'Date on which this right to work check was made'. The declaration must be signed and dated by the person conducting the check, with their name written legibly so it's clear who has completed the check.

You then need to upload the document and the declaration to the relevant University system (as appropriate for your position/department) as one document.

Useful information

Please read the training presentation and process overview on how to conduct either a manual or online right to work check to ensure you:

  • comply with Home Office requirements

  • identify the required documents for compliance

  • correctly complete appropriate passport and other document checks

  • identify any irregularities with the documents and contact HR for advice

If you have any questions about document/online verification, please contact your relevant HR Co-ordinator.

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