How to Undertake Right to Work Checks

UK law requires employers to check that any new member of staff has the right to work in the UK. There are stiff penalties for employers who do not comply.

There is a simple three step approach you can take.

Step 1 – ‘Obtain’: obtaining original versions of one of the more acceptable immigration documents. So-called ‘List A documents (such as an original UK passport) provided and employer with an ongoing statutory excuse without the need to carry out follow-up checks. ‘List B’ documents only provide a time-limited statutory excuse. List A and B documents can be found on the GOV website at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/acceptable-right-to-workdocuments-an-employer-guide.

Step 2 – ‘Check’: checking the document’s validity in the presence of the holder, including verifying that photographs and dates of births are consistent across documents and with the person’s appearance, ensuring that expiry dates for permission to be in the UK have not passed and checking that documents are genuine, have not been tampered with and belong to the holder

Step 3 – ‘Copy’:  making and retaining a clear copy (in a format that cannot be manually altered) and recording the date the check was made and retaining it securely, either electronically or in hard-copy format. Copies must be retained securely for not less than two years after employment has ended.

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