What is a Right to Work Check?
Right to Work Checks are an essential part of the recruitment process, enabling employers to verify that potential employees are eligible to work in the UK.
The employer must check the applicable documents – for example, a passport or visa – to establish whether a prospective employee has a time-limited or permanent right to work.
Who needs a Right to Work Check?
You should never make assumptions about a person’s eligibility to work in the UK or their immigration status. As an employer, it’s your responsibility to carry out checks on all prospective employees.
Right to Work Checks: 3 key steps
I have spoken with the staff at uCheck on many occasions and they are always very knowledgeable and helpful.
Why use the uCheck Platform?
- Central view – large organisations with multiple sites get one centralised view of all right to work matters.
- Data storage – if you provide an employee’s leave date, our system will ensure the document images are retained only for as long as they need to be, in line with GDPR requirements.
- Secure auditing – our employer checking service adds time, date and personnel stamps that cannot be altered or tampered with, at every stage of the process.
- Helpful guidance – handy tips, popups and checklists will guide you through the check, making sure you stay on the right track throughout.
- Electronic document verification – our Platform verifies certain types of document electronically, and stores copies securely in line with Home Office guidelines.
How long do Right to Work Checks take?
If you carry out a Right to Work Check using a passport, then our Platform is likely to verify the document electronically (in some cases it may not, depending on a variety of factors – for example, the country of issue). The electronic verification process usually takes between five minutes and one hour.
If you use other Right to Work documents – for example, a birth certificate – the data storage and secure auditing of the check will be almost instant, so you’ll be able to download a summary certificate quickly.
What documents can I accept?
The Home Office provides two lists of documents (list A and list B) that employers can accept as a person’s proof of right to work in the UK. You must only accept documents on these lists – no other documents are acceptable as proof of right to work.
List A comprises documents that can be accepted for a person with a permanent right to work. If a prospective employee has a permanent right to work and you correctly complete a Right to Work Check before their employment begins, you’ll establish a continuous statutory excuse for the period of their employment with you.
List B comprises documents that can be accepted for a person with a temporary right to work. Carrying out a check on a person with a temporary right to work will establish a time-limited statutory excuse. This means you’ll need to carry out a re-check in order to retain the statutory excuse – usually when the person’s permission to be in the UK comes to an end. You’ll find the expiry date on the document you use to conduct the check.
How do I check the applicant’s Right to Work documents?
The uCheck Platform offers an electronic verification service for passports, but there are additional checks you’ll need to do manually. Our Platform is built in line with Home Office guidelines, giving you peace of mind that you’ve done these checks correctly.
To complete the application, you’ll need to check:
- Photographs and dates of birth are consistent across documents.
- Expiry dates for permission to be in the UK have not passed.
- Any work restrictions determining the type of work they’re allowed to do, e.g. students may have a maximum number of hours they can work per week.
- Dates must be cross-referenced with identity documents and work permits or verified by contacting the appropriate embassies or consulates.
- The documents are genuine, have not been tampered with and belong to the holder.
- If the applicant has provided documents with different names, seek further documentation to explain the disparity, e.g. marriage or civil partnership certificate, divorce certificate, decree absolute, deed poll, adoption certificate or statutory declaration. Retain copies of these supporting documents on the upload screen.
What will results show?
In all instances the result will show as ‘complete’. However, the uCheck Platform itself doesn’t determine whether a prospective employee has the eligibility to work in the UK or not. Our electronic verification service is designed to confirm the legitimacy of the right to work documents, not to ascertain the person’s right to work. You must ascertain this during the checking process.
- The image you uploaded is blurry or unreadable
- A signature is missing from the document
- Some parts or sections are missing from the document
- The document has been manipulated, and security checks must be conducted
These errors don’t necessarily mean the applicant doesn’t have the right to work in the UK. If you do encounter an error, you can quickly and easily re-check the applicant by re-uploading the image. However, if the result shows the document has been manipulated, the Platform won’t allow you to re-check the applicant. In this instance you may need to seek help from the Home Office.