Who Needs a Right to Work Check in the UK?

This guide explains what employers should do to prevent illegal work in the UK by carrying out checks on people's right to work before hiring them. You can prove your right to work by showing your employer your ARC, and they will also need to contact the Home Office to verify that you have the right to work. Employment law states that every new employee must be subject to right-to-work controls (RTW). Right-to-work checks are intended to ensure that a person has the acceptable documents necessary to prove permission to work in the United Kingdom.

These checks include the submission of several original documents depending on whether you belong to the category of British citizen or a foreigner. If you're not sure how many hours you can work, you should review your immigration documents or talk to your education provider. 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 website on the right to work. Verification of the right to work involves verifying that a person has the acceptable documents necessary to work legally in the United Kingdom.

You only need to use this service if you can't verify the applicant's right to work online using your shared code or check the applicant's original documents. As a requirement of the Ministry of the Interior, if right-to-work controls are not carried out, serious sanctions can be imposed on those involved. It's important for employers to understand what documents are needed, when and how to get right-to-work checks, and who needs them. Because the documents on list B are fixed-term visas, employers must obtain a new entitlement to work check so that employees can continue working.

You should check if you can prove your right to work in another way; if you can't, you'll have to request a replacement document. Business owners must be careful not to let their eagerness to hire prevent them from carrying out exhaustive and legitimate controls on the right to work. If they properly verify documents related to the right to work, employers should be able to rely on a legal defense against complaints of non-compliance, where they can demonstrate that they have taken consistent and compliant measures to ensure that they only hire people with permission to work in the United Kingdom. During the pandemic, the Ministry of the Interior introduced tight temporary right-to-work controls, which made it possible to verify photographs or scanned copies of identity documents instead of the original physical documents.

All personnel involved in hiring and onboarding (which may not be just human resources and line managers) must be trained to perform checks correctly and consistently. This version was updated to provide more guidance to employers on the right to work of EEA and Swiss nationals during the grace period (January 1 - June 30, 2002). There are several key pre-employment selection checks that a business owner must carry out in order for them comply with the law.

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