Verifying an individual's right to work in the UK without a passport can be a tricky process. Employers must take consistent and compliant steps to ensure that they only hire people with permission to work in the UK. Depending on the person's immigration status at the time of the check, there will be different requirements as to the type of documents that must be checked and kept. In cases where the person is unable to submit documentation demonstrating their suitability to work in the United Kingdom, employers should ask the Home Office to check their status and request a positive verification notice to confirm that the applicant is entitled to work, which must be kept as proof that the requirements have been met.
The Check for Employers Service (ECS) is a free online service from the Ministry of the Interior that allows employers to meet their obligation to verify employees' right to work in circumstances where the person cannot use checks online or provide acceptable documentation for manual checks. Digital or online checks require the employer to verify the relevant document or information online and keep a record of the check. Currently, digital checks with IDSPs are only available to holders of valid British or Irish passports or Irish passport cards. A webinar offering comprehensive guidance on right-to-work checks (recorded in November 2002) is also available. You may need to check a person's criminal record, for example, if they are going to work in the health sector or with children. By carrying out right-to-work document checks correctly, employers should be able to rely on a legal defense against allegations of non-compliance, where they can demonstrate that they have taken consistent and compliant steps to ensure that they only hire people with permission to work in the UK.
Any verification of the right to work carried out in accordance with this guide will provide employers with a legal excuse to employ them. You could face a civil penalty if you employ an illegal worker and have not performed a correct verification of the right to work. In addition, employers can use an identity service provider that offers identity document validation (IDVT) technology as part of a compliance check, scanned or digital copies of the original documents on the right to work could be verified on a live video link with the person. To sum up, employers must take consistent and compliant steps when verifying an individual's right to work in the UK without a passport. This includes using services such as ECS and IDSPs, as well as requesting positive verification notices from the Home Office. Employers should also consider checking criminal records if necessary.