A right to work verification is a process that employers must undertake to ensure that all of their employees are legally eligible to work in the country. This is a legal responsibility of the employer, and any violation can result in fines or even prison sentences. To verify the legal status of potential employees, employers often use right-to-work background checks. This process includes verifying the candidate's identity and documents, such as a passport, driver's license, and other legal documents that prove they are allowed to work in the country.
In addition, employers use these controls to make sure that the candidate has no criminal record and is not prohibited from working in certain industries or functions. The overall goal of this verification is to ensure that both the employer and employee comply with laws when hiring. When conducting a manual check, the Ministry of the Interior sets out the documents that a person must present to demonstrate their right to work in two lists: list A or list B. It is not uncommon for the central human resources department to have developed a system that meets legislation on the right to work, but in practice, right-to-work checks conducted locally by managers and direct supervisors may not meet the required standards.
This requires employers to carry out basic checks on all UK employees to verify that they have the necessary permission to perform the work offered. Online checks can be done via video call and there is no need to view physical documents, as information is accessed directly from the Ministry of the Interior. The duration of a right to work verification may vary depending on the individual's specific circumstances and the method used for verification. When the system was open, employers were allowed to perform document checks remotely using video calls, and applicants submitted their documentation electronically instead of in its original format.
The Employer's Check 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. The first step in performing a verification is being in physical possession of the original documents when performing the verification, being physically present with the person or virtually via live video, unless using the Ministry of the Interior's online verification service (see below). If current employees have limited permission to stay and work, employers should be sure to schedule and perform a follow-up check before their current leave period expires. The law requires employers to prove their right to work in order to comply with their obligations and can invoke a legal excuse in case of alleged violations.
Human Resources must also carry out regular timely checks of documents to ensure that standards are maintained and any possible problems are identified and rectified. Today, all employers in the UK have a legal obligation to verify their employees' right to work before hiring them. In recent years, implementing controls on right-to-work has become an essential part of many companies' selection process and there seems to be no slowdown.