The Difference Between Manual and Online Right to Work Checks

Right to work manual checks are used to prove a person's right to work in person by providing a physical copy of their right to work documents. This type of control is used when inline control cannot be performed, and employers must obtain the original documents from List A or List B of acceptable documents to perform a manual verification of the right to work. On the other hand, digital or online checks require employers to verify the relevant document or information online and keep a record of the check. The first step in performing a verification is to be in physical possession of the original documents when performing the verification, to be physically present with the person or virtually via live video, unless using the Ministry of the Interior's online verification service.

This is an alternative to manual checks, and Internet service providers will perform these digital right to work checks on behalf of employers using identity document validation technology. Employers can also use the online service, entitled “See the details of a job applicant's right to work” on GOV. The Employer's Check Service (ECS) is a free online service from the Home Office 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 verification. When performing a manual verification of the right to work, employers must obtain the original documents from List A or B of acceptable documents. 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 will be reviewed and kept.

The online right to work verification service sets out the information needed to complete an online verification. An online right to work check from the Home Office will provide employers with a legal excuse not to receive a civil sanction if the subject of the check is involved in illegal work. The employer then completes the online verification of the right to work by entering the person's details in the “verifier” section of the Ministry of the Interior's right to work website. Under these circumstances, when the employee provides the participation code, employers can rely on a legal excuse for six months from the date of the online check. If the potential employee is a foreign citizen with a biometric work or residence permit, their right to work can only be verified online.

Manual and face-to-face controls of their right to work are no longer sufficient to establish a legal defense against civil sanction in relation. Therefore, employers should allow individuals to demonstrate their right to work through manual document verification.

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