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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 that 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 that we remain compliant with our duty to prevent illegal working and at the same time avoid unlawful discrimination.

Since 1 July 2021, EEA citizens and their family members now require immigration status in the UK and 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 & Swiss Citizens webpage.

How to conduct a right to work check

If you are a University representative (e.g. 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 that the document presented is original and valid

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

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

There are two types of right to work check:

  • Online Check (e.g. non-British/Irish citizens) - check the individual's right to work online using the Home Office Online Right to Work Checking Service if they have a biometric residence permit/card, status under the EU Settlement Scheme or have 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; or

  • Manual Check (e.g. British/Irish citizens) - check the individual's original documents. The process below outlines the steps you need to take to carry out a manual in-person right to work 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 contains the range of documents which you may accept for an individual who has a permanent right to work in the UK e.g. British/Irish passport, 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 a utility company are not considered acceptable identification documents. There is no requirement to carry out a repeat check for these individuals during their employment (unless there is a break in service or an hourly paid worker moves into a core role).

  • List B contains the range of documents which may be accepted for an individual who has a temporary right to work in the UK. There is a requirement to carry out a repeat check before the individual’s current identification document expires for them to continue working.

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

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 that these correspond with the appearance of the individual

  • check that 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 then you must ask the individual to provide you with a further document to explain the reason for this. This further document 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 e.g. PDF. 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:

  • Passports: any page showing the individual’s personal identity details (e.g. name, nationality, date of birth, signature, immigration permission, biometric details and photograph), document expiry date 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 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 individual conducting the check and their name written legibly so it is clear who has completed the check.

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

Useful information

View the training presentation and process overview below about how to conduct either a manual or online right to work check to make sure that you:

  • comply with Home Office requirements

  • identify the required documents for compliance

  • correctly complete appropriate passport and other document checks

  • identify any irregularities with documents and contact HR for advice

How to conduct a Right to Work Check Presentation

Right to Work Check Process Summary

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