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Day 1 Right to Work check

Day 1 Right to Work check:
An employers step-by-step guide

All UK employers are legally obligated to conduct a Right to Work check to comply with the Prevention of Illegal Working Legislation. Non-compliance can result in:

- a civil penalty of up to £20,000 per illegal worker;
- in serious cases, a criminal conviction carrying a prison sentence of up to 5 years and an unlimited fine;
- closure of the business and a compliance order issued by the court;
- disqualification as a director;
- not being able to sponsor migrants;
- seizure of earnings made as a result of illegal working.

What is the Day 1 Right to Work check?

A Day 1 Right to Work check is a screening of all employees' personal documentation (migrant or native) to verify whether or not they can legally work in the UK.

In the following step-by-step guide, we will walk you through the Day 1 Right to Work process specific to onboarding a sponsored employee (e.g. migrant worker) from the employer's point of view.

A step-by-step Day 1 Right to Work check process for Skilled Worker / Tier 2 visa holders

You must conduct a Day 1 Right to Work check on a skilled migrant's first day of work.

The 3-steps to conducting a Day 1 Right to Work check are: Obtain, Check, and Copy / Store. Read on for more details on each step.

Covid-19 update: The COVID-19 concession on right-to-work checks allows employers to carry out checks using scanned copies or photographs of original documents via video calls or the online Employer Checking Service. This concession has been extended to 5 April 2022. This extension provides employers with relief from the practical challenge of meeting in person and physical document checks. The updated Employer’s Guide confirms that retrospective checks of those conducted between 30 March 2020 and 5 April 2022 are not required, granting employers a statutory excuse provided that checks were conducted in the prescribed manner.

Step 1: Obtain

A member of HR or superior to the sponsored employee must obtain the legal documents to demonstrate full compliance:

Passport - pages with personal details;
BRP (Biometric residence permit) - front and back;
Stamped entry clearance visa - only applicable if a sponsored employee received a visa grant outside of the UK.

Step 2: Check

You must go through the received documents and check:

- The documents are genuine, original, unchanged, and belong to the person who has given them to you;
- The dates for the applicant’s right to work in the UK have not expired;
- Photos are the same across all documents and look like the applicant;
- Dates of birth are the same across all documents;
- The applicant has permission to do the type of work you’re offering (including any limit on the number of hours they can work);
- If two documents give different names, the applicant has supporting documents showing why they’re different, such as a marriage certificate or divorce decree.

Step 3: Copy / Store

When you take a copy of the documents, you must:

- Make a copy that cannot be changed, for example, a photocopy;
- Make sure the copy is clear enough to read;
- Attest the copy by stating the following: “I confirm that these are true copies of the original” along with your name, role in the company, date, and signature;
- Keep copies during the employee’s employment and for 2-years after they stop working for you.
Example:

Streamline your Day 1 Right to Work check with Nation.better

With the Nation.better compliance platform, conducting a Day 1 Right to Work check is quick and easy.

You can track all the employee's documents, ensure they meet the Home Office requirements, and store them in one secure, digital location. Employers will also receive notifications if anything is outstanding or expired, ensuring you stay Home Office compliant.

Try Nation.better today with a free 6-month subscription.

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