A new, updated guidance has recently been published by the Home Office, for employers to follow when conducting Right to Work checks. This guidance replaces the previous guidance, however it is important to look up the relevant guidance at the time of the applicant’s start date.
It is a legal obligation to check a person is allowed to work for you in the UK before you employ them. This is the employers’ responsibility and cannot be delegated to a 3rd party. All employees must be checked, including contractors or people who are employed on a self-employed basis to undertake work for a business.
3 Step Check
There are 3 key steps to undertaking a Right to Work check: obtain, check and copy.
The employer must obtain original documents as specified in lists A and B in the guidance.
The documents then need to be checked, to ensure that they are genuine, have not been tampered with and that information, such as photographs and date of birth, is consistent across all documents. If any of the documents show a difference in names, the applicant must provide supporting documents to explain the reasons why this is the case (e.g. marriage certificate, divorce decree or deed poll). Documents must also show that expiry dates for permission to be in the UK have not passed.
Clear copies must be made of the documents in a format which cannot be altered. For passports, copies must be made of any pages with an expiry date, the holder’s nationality, date of birth, signature, biometric details, photographs and any page containing information indicating that the holder has an entitlement to enter or remain in the UK and undertake the work in question. A record must also be kept of the date on which the check was made. Copies must be retained during the applicant’s employment and for at least 2 years after employment ends.
Employers could face a civil penalty of up to £20,000 per worker (£15,000 if first offence) if they employ an illegal worker and haven’t carried out a correct Right to Work check.
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