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Right To Work Fact Sheet

By November 14, 2023No Comments

Did you know that mistakenly employing someone that does not have a right to work in the UK can lead to fines of up to £20,000 for you and your business?

It is essential that you obtain, check and copy all ID that is given to you by candidates, before employing them. This is why we have put together this Right To Work Fact Sheet. We want to make sure that you avoid all risks of mistakenly employing people that are not allowed to work in the UK. 

Whenever you are interviewing for roles within your business you need to always think Obtain, Check and Copy’. These should be three crucial steps that you always consider when checking on the identity of a potential new employee.

1. Obtain

You must obtain the original documents of at least one of the following. Your potential employee cannot give you a copy; you must see the original document. The documents that the potential employee can show you are as follows;

  • A valid and in date UK passport.
  • If the candidate is an EEA and Swiss Citizen then a passport or National ID Card.
  • A registration of permanent residence for an EEA / Swizz Citizen or their family member.
  • A current and valid BID (Biometric Immigration Document) that is issued by the Home Office. This will say that the holder has a right to stay in the UK indefinitely, or that they have the right to abode here.
  • A current and valid Immigration Status Document. This will have been issued by the Home Office and will show they can stay in the UK indefinitely. It will also have their permanent NU number and name issued by a government agency or previous employer.
  • A birth or adoption certificate that is issued in the Channel Islands, Isle of Man or Ireland. This must be accompanied by a document showing their permanent NI number and name issued by a government agency or previous employer.
  • A certificate of registration or naturalisation as a British citizen. This must be presented with a document that shows the candidates permanent NI number and name issued by a government agency or previous employer.

Please Note: Some of the documents stated above, such as the Immigration Status documents for example, will need to be rechecked when they have been renewed. We would recommend that you put the expiry dates of the forms in your diary to ensure you get the updated forms from the employee as they become out of date.

2. Check

Once you have the documents, you need to check that they are genuine. This is why it is essential you obtain the actual documents and not copies. Should you encounter any issues in the future with fraudulent documents; the fact that you have completed these checks will give you a ‘statutory excuse’. This is a waiver of liability in any mistaken civil offence.

We would recommend that you use a tick sheet to complete these checks and conduct these in front of the employee. This form will then help you with the ‘statutory excuse’ if the forms are found to be fraudulent in the future. Check the photographs look the same across all the forms of ID provided and that the dates of birth are the same on all forms. Make sure that expiry dates for admission in the UK have not passed.

Ensure that there are no restrictions for your type of work; for example students may only be able to work at certain times of the term time and holidays. Ensure that, to the best of your knowledge, the forms of ID you are shown are not fake. There may be different names on different documents. Speak to the candidate about this. For example, it could be a married name, deed poll, etc – you just need to see the documents that confirm this.

3. Copy

You need to make a very clear record of the forms of ID you were shown and when they were shown to you. Make sure you copy all forms of ID that you are given and make a note of the date you saw the ID and mark it with your signature.

In some cases you will need to copy the front and back of documents in the case of Biometric Residence Permits. With a passport, you will need to take a copy of the back page with the photo, nationality, date of birth and expiry, but you may also need to copy relevant pages such as certain stamps or visas for example.

It is essential that these copies of the ID are kept for the duration of the person’s time in employment with you, and at least two years after the employment has ended.

If you have any concerns about what you have read or would like more details, please feel free to contact us directly on 01733 739660. Alternatively, use the governments’ Employee Checking Service to help you;