UK right to work checks: document checklist [+pdf download]

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Employers in the United Kingdom are required by law to prevent unlawful employment. This includes doing simple on all potential employees before hiring them to ensure they are not excluded from performing the task due to their immigration status.

For many, the right-to-work process is a straightforward one. However, with the UK's constantly changing immigration laws, it can be challenging to keep up to date with the latest rules and regulations.

To help you stay compliant, we've created a right-to-work checklist template for 2022. This guide covers the basics of right-to-work checks and includes the documentation you'll need to complete them.

Home office right to work checklist 2022

To avoid penalties, employers must ensure that their staff fully complies with UK immigration laws. Part of this compliance involves carrying out on all new employees.

What hasn’t changed:

  • Right to work checks must still be completed on all employees
  • Checks must be completed before the employee starts work
  • Doing the checks correctly via one of the approved methods provides a statutory excuse against the civil penalty

Manual right to work in the UK checklist pdf

To carry out a manual right to work check, you must adhere to three simple steps:

  1. Obtain original documentation (not copies).
  2. Check and verify that the document is genuine, photograph matched, date of birth matches the employee's age, and note any expiry dates and work restrictions.
  3. Copy the document and keep this in hard copy or electronically, recording the date the check was made. This should be retained for the duration of employment and two years afterwards.

Step 1: Obtain Right-to-work documents (checklist)

The Home Office provides a helpful list of documents that can be used when conducting

These documents are categorised into List A and List B, depending on the type of permission the holder has and these checks must be done before the candidate starts work.

When performing a physical right-to-work check, employers must obtain documents from either List A or List B. By following these simple guidelines, employers can help ensure that their business operates within the law.

Caveat: In situations where a right-to-work check has been conducted using the online right-to-work checking service, there is no requirement to check any documents from this list as the information is sourced in real-time directly from the Home Office.

Lists of acceptable documents for manual right to work checks

To complete a manual right-to-work check, you must request specific records from the job applicant. You should ask to see the original documents, not copies. The acceptable document types are defined in List A, List B – Group 1, and List B – Group 2.

Zinc-s 2022 Right-To-Work Checklist

List A – Acceptable documents to establish a continuous statutory excuse

  1. UK citizen Passport: A passport (current or expired) showing the holder is a British citizen or a citizen of the UK and Colonies having the right of abode in the UK.
  2. Irish citizen passport: A passport or passport card (in either case, current or expired) showing that the holder is an Irish citizen.
  3. Bailiwick of Jersey, Bailiwick of Guernsey, Isle of Man documents: A document issued by the Bailiwick of Jersey, the Bailiwick of Guernsey or the Isle of Man, which has been verified as valid by the Home Office Employer Checking Service, showing that the holder has been granted unlimited leave to enter or remain under Appendix EU(J) to the Jersey Immigration Rules, Appendix EU to the Immigration (Bailiwick of Guernsey) Rules 2008 or Appendix EU to the Isle of Man Immigration Rules.
  4. Endorsed current passport: A current passport endorsed to show that the holder is exempt from immigration control, is allowed to stay indefinitely in the UK, has the right of abode in the UK, or has no time limit on their stay in the UK.
  5. Immigration Status Document: A current Immigration Status Document issued by the Home Office to the holder with an endorsement indicating that the named person is allowed to stay indefinitely in the UK, or has no time limit on their stay in the UK, together with an official document giving the person’s permanent National Insurance number and their name issued by a government agency or a previous employer.
  6. UK-issued birth or adoption certificate: A birth or adoption certificate issued in the UK, with an official document giving the person’s permanent National Insurance number and their name issued by a government agency or a previous employer.
  7. Channel Island-issued birth or adoption certificate: A birth or adoption certificate issued in the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man or Ireland, together with an official document giving the person’s permanent National Insurance number and their name issued by a government agency or a previous employer.
  8. Registration or naturalisation certificate: A certificate of registration or naturalisation as a British citizen, with an official document giving the person’s permanent National Insurance number and their name issued by a government agency or a previous employer.

List B Group 1 – documents where a time-limited statutory excuse lasts until the expiry date of permission to enter or permission to stay

  1. Endorsed passport: A current passport endorsed to show that the holder is allowed to stay in the UK and is currently allowed to do the type of work in question.
  2. Bailiwick of Jersey, Bailiwick of Guernsey, Isle of Man documents: A document issued by the Bailiwick of Jersey, the Bailiwick of Guernsey or the Isle of Man, which has been verified as valid by the Home Office Employer Checking Service, showing that the holder has been granted limited leave to enter or remain under Appendix EU(J) to the Jersey Immigration Rules, Appendix EU to the Immigration (Bailiwick of Guernsey) Rules 2008 or Appendix EU to the Isle of Man Immigration Rules.
  3. Current Immigration Status Document: A current Immigration Status Document containing a photograph issued by the Home Office to the holder with a valid endorsement indicating that the named person may stay in the UK and is allowed to do the type of work in question, together with an official document giving the person’s permanent National Insurance number and their name issued by a government agency or a previous employer.

List B Group 2 – documents where a time-limited statutory excuse lasts for six months

  1. Home Office issued document confirming application: A document issued by the Home Office showing that the holder has made an application for leave to enter or remain under Appendix EU to the immigration rules (known as the EU Settlement Scheme) on or before 30 June 2021 together with a Positive Verification Notice from the Home Office Employer Checking Service.
  2. Home Office issued document confirming application & Positive Verification Notice: A Certificate of Application (digital or non-digital) issued by the Home Office showing that the holder has made an application for leave to enter or remain under Appendix EU to the immigration rules (known as the EU Settlement Scheme), on or after 1 July 2021, together with a Positive Verification Notice from the Home Office Employer Checking Service.
  3. Bailiwick of Jersey, the Bailiwick of Guernsey or the Isle of Man issued document confirming application: A document issued by the Bailiwick of Jersey, the Bailiwick of Guernsey or the Isle of Man showing that the holder has made an application for leave to enter or remain under Appendix EU(J) to the Jersey Immigration Rules or Appendix EU to the Immigration Rules (Bailiwick of Guernsey) Rules 2008, or Appendix EU to the Isle of Man Immigration Rules together with a Positive Verification Notice from the Home Office Employer Checking Service.
  4. Home Office issues Application Registration Card: An Application Registration Card issued by the Home Office stating that the holder is permitted to take the employment in question, together with a Positive Verification Notice from the Home Office Employer Checking Service.
  5. Positive Verification Notice: A Positive Verification Notice issued by the Home Office Employer Checking Service to the employer or prospective employer indicates that the named person may stay in the UK and is permitted to do the work in question.

Step 2: Check the right to work documents are genuine

After receiving an acceptable right to work document, employers should check and verify it.

The employer or their representative must also check that the document holder is the document's rightful owner and that the document's photograph represents the person presenting it.

To do this:

  • Check the photographs match across all documents
  • Check that the candidate's date of birth matches across all documents
  • If the document holder has a time-limited right to work, check that it has not expired
  • Consider potential work restrictions to ensure that candidates can do the job they are applying for

Making use of advanced identity document validation technology (IDVT) that enables organisations to accurately check the validity of identity documents and verify a prospective employee’s identity.

Step 3: Make a copy of the documents

All documents presented during a right-to-work check should be securely retained, electronically or on paper. Copying each document is required after confirming that the individual is authorised to work in the UK.

Copying and storing them, whether electronic or hard copies, must be done to prevent them from being altered. You must retain the document for the duration of the employee's employment with your company and destroy it after two years in a secure environment.

Final thoughts

The onus falls on the employer to stay compliant when verifying a candidate's eligibility to work in the UK. By verifying the right documents, employers can avoid a civil penalty and stay within the law.

DISCLAIMER: This content does not constitute legal advice. The information within this blog post is accurate at the point of writing. Please verify any information included on the official or seek a legal professional for bespoke advice.

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