How to Conduct a Right to Work Check on Non-UK Citizens

Non-British residents must have a valid immigration status that allows them to work in the UK. This means they must apply for a visa to the Ministry of the Interior. Employers have a legal obligation to comply with illegal work prevention legislation, which requires them to carry out basic checks on all employees resident in the UK to verify that they have the necessary permission to perform the work offered. Verification of the right to work of the person's original documents must be done before starting work.

The employer must keep a copy of the right to work check in the form of a “profile” page that verifies the person's eligibility to work. Photographs and dates of birth must be verified face to face or via a live video link, comparing them to the person presenting themselves as an employee or potential employee. If you can't check online the candidate's right to work with their shared code or check the candidate's original documents, you must use a service such as Oleeo and TrustID. All personnel involved in hiring and onboarding (not just human resources and line managers) must be trained to perform checks correctly and consistently. In some exceptional cases, it is possible for employers to carry out a physical verification of the documents to prove the right to work.

It is not uncommon for the central human resources function to have developed a system that complies with legislation on the right to work, but in practice, right-to-work controls carried out locally in branches or offices by managers and direct supervisors may not meet the required standards. Employers should also use the ECS (Employment Checking Service) to ask the Ministry of the Interior to check a person's immigration status if they have an application registration card or a digital or non-digital application certificate stating that they must ask the Ministry of the Interior to verify their right to work. Employers were not required to perform full or retrospectively “corrected” checks if a test adjusted for COVID had been used during the program. When a right to work check confirms that there is a time limit on the right of EU employees to work in the UK, a follow-up check must be carried out first of the expiration date. 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. Digital or online checks require employers to verify relevant documents or information online and keep a record of the check. The law requires employers to prove their right to work in order to fulfill their duty and be able to invoke a legal excuse in case of alleged violations.

You must ask the Home Office to verify an employee or potential employee's immigration status if you are unable to show your documents or your immigration status online. Any verification of the right to work carried out in accordance with this guide will provide employers with a legal excuse for employing them. As an employer, you must check that job seekers have a legal right to work in the UK before starting employment. Instead, employers should allow individuals to demonstrate their right to work through manual document verification.

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