Nation.better |

How To Conduct A Right-To-Work Check | Nation.better

Right-to-work checks: Everything you need to know

Find out how to get this all-important stage of the sponsorship process right and how we support you at Nation.better

If you’re looking to hire foreign skilled workers for your organisation, your prospective employees have to go through an evaluation process known as the right-to-work check. This vetting process ensures that your prospective employees have the legal right to render professional services in the UK and to eliminate undocumented immigration. As an employer, it’s your legal responsibility to ensure that all your employees immigrate to the UK legally and are permitted to perform the job on offer. A failure to ensure the eligibility of your employees at this stage could result in a revocation of your sponsor licence, a civil penalty, or legal action.

How has Brexit changed the right-to-work assessment?

Before Brexit, employees from the EU, EEA countries and Switzerland only needed to hold a valid passport and an ID to prove that they had the right to work in the UK. 

Today, all nationalities except Irish citizens need to meet every legal requirement to prove their right to work—Irish citizens can use their passport and passport card to do so.

That said, EU, EEA, or Swiss citizens who were in the UK before the 1st of July 2021 can still prove their right to work with just their passport and ID.

How has Brexit changed the right-to-work assessment?

Before Brexit, employees from the EU, EEA countries and Switzerland only needed to hold a valid passport and an ID to prove that they had the right to work in the UK. 

Today, all nationalities except Irish citizens need to meet every legal requirement to prove their right to work—Irish citizens can use their passport and passport card to do so.

That said, EU, EEA, or Swiss citizens who were in the UK before the 1st of July 2021 can still prove their right to work with just their passport and ID.

How to conduct a document-based right-to-work check

There are three steps to a right-to-work assessment: Obtain, check, and copy.

Obtain

A member of your HR department or another high-ranking individual from your business must collect all the legal requirements listed in List A, List B Group 1 or List B Group 2 of acceptable documents stipulated by the Home Office.

If a prospective employee presents documents from either List B Group 1 or List B Group 2—which means they have a time limitation on their right to work—you are required to conduct a follow-up check every 12 months or on the expiry of the individual’s visa, whichever is sooner.

Check

At this stage, you must ensure:

 

  • All the documents are genuine and are presented by the same person mentioned in the documents.
  • The date of birth and photographs are consistent across all documents to eliminate any likelihood of impersonation.
  • The expiry date for permission to be in the UK has not expired.
  • If there are differences in names across documents, the applicant possesses all the required supporting documents to authenticate the difference.

Copy

When copying legal documents, you need to ensure that all pages of the document are copied and stored—electronically or physically—in a non-alterable location. 

You must hold the copies until two years after the termination of the contract, after which the documents should be destroyed securely.

How to conduct a document-based right-to-work check

There are three steps to a right-to-work assessment: Obtain, check, and copy.

Obtain

A member of your HR department or another high-ranking individual from your business must collect all the legal requirements listed in List A, List B Group 1 or List B Group 2 of acceptable documents stipulated by the Home Office.

If a prospective employee presents documents from either List B Group 1 or List B Group 2—which means they have a time limitation on their right to work—you are required to conduct a follow-up check every 12 months or on the expiry of the individual’s visa, whichever is sooner.

Check

At this stage, you must ensure:

 

  • All the documents are genuine and are presented by the same person mentioned in the documents.
  • The date of birth and photographs are consistent across all documents to eliminate any likelihood of impersonation.
  • The expiry date for permission to be in the UK has not expired.
  • If there are differences in names across documents, the applicant possesses all the required supporting documents to authenticate the difference.

Copy

When copying legal documents, you need to ensure that all pages of the document are copied and stored—electronically or physically—in a non-alterable location. 

You must hold the copies until two years after the termination of the contract, after which the documents should be destroyed securely.

How to conduct an online right-to-work check

If you’re unable to conduct a physical check, you can conduct this check online through the Employer Checking Service.

That said, the online service is only available if your prospective candidate:

  • Holds a valid biometric residence permit; or
  • Has settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme; or
  • Holds a British National Overseas (BNO) visa; or
  • Holds a Frontier Worker permit

When conducting an online check, you can access the employee profile with the share code, which you can obtain from your prospective employee.

Similar to a physical check, you need to retain evidence of the online check to prove that you have performed your due diligence.

If you’re unable to conduct a physical check, you can conduct this check online through the Employer Checking Service.

That said, the online service is only available if your prospective candidate:

  • Holds a valid biometric residence permit; or
  • Has settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme; or
  • Holds a British National Overseas (BNO) visa; or
  • Holds a Frontier Worker permit

When conducting an online check, you can access the employee profile with the share code, which you can obtain from your prospective employee.

Similar to a physical check, you need to retain evidence of the online check to prove that you have performed your due diligence.

Which documents need to be checked?

List A documents

  • The passport (current or expired)
  • The passport or passport card (current or expired)—only applicable for citizens of the Republic of Ireland
  • A Biometric Immigration Document
  • A current Immigration Status Document 
  • A birth or adoption certificate
  • An official document with the permanent National Insurance number
  • A certificate of naturalisation or registration as a British citizen

List B Group 1 documents

  • The passport
  • A Biometric Immigration Document 
  • A frontier worker permit issued under regulation 8 of the Citizens’ Rights Regulations (2020)
  • A current Immigration Status Document containing a photograph
  • An official document with the permanent National Insurance number

List B Group 2 documents

  • A document proving that the prospective employee has made an application for leave to enter or remain under Appendix EU to the immigration rules on or before 30 June 2021
  • An Application Registration Card
  • A Positive Verification Notice

How can Nation.better help?

At Nation.better, we understand the complexities and challenges you may face when evaluating the right to work of your prospective employees.
That’s why we’ve designed an end-to-end automated compliance platform that can help you streamline this process.
With our platform, track and evaluate the required documents to ensure your candidates are eligible, and store them in a safe, unalterable location to meet your sponsor duties.
Schedule a free demo of our platform today to learn more about how we can help you simplify your right-to-work evaluation process!

Frequently asked questions

In this case, you must request the Home Office to check their immigration employment status. One of the following conditions must be applicable as well:

  • Your applicant is a Commonwealth citizen who lived in the UK before 1988
  • They have an Application Registration Card
  • You’re satisfied that they are unable to present their documents due to an outstanding appeal, administrative review or application with the Home Office
  • They possess a Certificate of Application that is less than six months old

Generally, the timeline varies from employer to employer but, on average, it takes between 5-20 days to complete.

When you request the Home Office to check the employment immigration status of your employee (if they are unable to produce the required documents), the Home Office issues a Positive Verification Notice if the individual has a right to work in the UK.

Speak to us

If you’d like to learn more about how we can streamline your right-to-work evaluations and our sponsorship compliance platform, get in touch with us today. Our goal is to simplify and eliminate the stress of the sponsorship process to ensure your international recruitment success.

Funded by