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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.

Right to work checks for EU, EEA & Swiss Citizens from 1 July 2021

From 1 July 2021, EEA citizens and their family members will require immigration status in the UK and will no longer be able to prove their right to work using an EEA passport or national identity card. Only British or Irish nationals will be able to prove their right to work in this way.

Instead, the majority of EEA citizens will be able to prove their right to work using the Home Office Online Right to Work Service. Those who have made a successful application to the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS) will have been granted their immigration status digitally and can only prove their right to work using the Home Office online service.

  • If an EEA citizen has been granted ‘Settled Status’ by the Home Office, they will have a continuous right to work, in the same way as someone with Indefinite Leave to Enter / Remain status.

  • If an EEA citizen has been granted ‘Pre-Settled Status’ by the Home Office, they will have a time-limited right to work and you must carry out a follow-up check. The Home Office online service will advise when a follow-up check must be carried out and HR will continue to monitor any time-limited checks as recorded on iTrent as they do currently.

There is no requirement for follow-up right to work checks to be undertaken on any EU, EEA and Swiss citizens who were employed on or before 30 June 2021 as long as the check that was undertaken at the time was valid and carried out correctly.

New members of staff and hourly paid workers who are EU, EEA or Swiss citizens will need to evidence that they have either 'Pre-settled' or 'Settled' status under the EUSS or via a valid UK visa before starting work in the UK.

Existing hourly paid workers may need a further right to work check under the new requirements if they have been engaged before but have had a significant gap since their last engagement.

Please refer to our EUSS FAQs webpage for further information on what to do in the following scenarios:

  • an outstanding EUSS application where status has not yet been granted
  • an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen who was employed by the University prior to 30 June 2021 and has reasonable grounds for missing the EUSS application deadline
  • an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen who has applied for a job at the University after 30 June 2021, has not applied to the EUSS by the deadline and has no alternative immigration status in the UK

Checking identity documents

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, 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

It is important that you follow steps 1 - 3 below when undertaking a right to work check.

Step 1 - Obtain documents

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 on a Skilled Worker Visa (Tier 2 Visa previously), or a Temporary Worker Visa (T5), 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

You can either:

  • conduct an Online Check - check the individual's right to work online if they have a biometric residence permit/card or status under the EU Settlement Scheme by following the guidance here; or

  • conduct a Manual Check - check the individual's original documents by following the guidance below

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)

  • 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 of any limited leave to enter or remain in the UK have not passed - e.g. a current valid visa in a current passport or a Biometric Residence Permit which confirms the right to work. An in-date visa in an expired passport does not give the holder a right to work in the UK. Please note that Student / Tier 4 Visa holders who have a right to study may not automatically have a right to work in the UK.

  • check any UK Government endorsements (stamps, visas, etc.) to see if the individual is able 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 individual gives you two documents which have different names, ask them for a further document to explain the reason for this. The further document could be a marriage/civil partnership certificate, a divorce decree, or on enrolled deed poll.

Step 3 - Copy/scan documents

You must make a copy of the relevant page or pages of the document in a format which cannot be subsequently altered. 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, biometric details and photograph) along with the document expiry date. If the individual is sponsored under a Skilled Worker Visa (including Tier 2) or Temporary Worker Visa (T5), you must make a copy of their most recent entry clearance stamp (a visa to enter the UK) indicating the holder has an entitlement to enter or remain in the UK and undertake the work in question and check that they entered the UK during the validity period of their visa. If they entered before the ‘valid from’ date on their visa, they will not have permission to work for the University. In this case, you should contact your relevant HR Recruitment Co-ordinator who will be able to advise.

  • For any documents other than a passport: the document in full, including both sides of a Biometric Residence Permit, an Application Registration Card and a Residence Card (biometric format).

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.

If the individual is a Student/Tier 4 Visa holder you must follow the Student/Tier 4 Visa booking process before engaging them in any work.

Useful information

View this slideshow about document verification 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

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

You can also compare identity and travel documents against the archived images published on:

  • PRADO - Public Register of Authentic travel and identity Documents Online; or

  • EdisonTD