Do You Know the Right to Work UK Guidelines?

Right to Work UK checks came into force as of 16th May 2014. Since then, employers have been urged to find out more information and carry out necessary employment checks to ensure their employees have the right to work in the UK. This guide explores what the Right to Work checks are, changes in employment law and how employers can manage the change.

What is a right to work check?

This check is a requirement for employers. It means they need to check documents that will show employees are permitted to work in the UK. Checks must be carried out prior to employing staff.

Why are the checks needed?

An employer has a duty of preventing illegal working. These checks make it harder for people with no legal right to work in the UK to obtain and stay in employment. It also enables employers to gain a statutory excuse against liability or civil penalties.

This means that if you are found employing someone that does not have the right to work in the UK, but that you have evidence that you have correctly conducted the checks, you will not receive a civil penalty for that worker. The checks work alongside both employer and employee rights.

Who are checks conducted on?

Right to work checks should be conducted on all potential employees. All potential employees should provide you with the necessary documents to carry out checks.

How are the checks conducted?

Three steps are involved:

  1. Obtain the person’s original documents. These are documents which establish either continuous or time-limited right to work in the UK.

Examples: A current passport or National identity card, a residence card, current immigration status document.

  1. Check the validity of the documents. You must be in physical possession of the documents and the holder must be present. The responsibility for checking the document is yours.
  1. Retain evidence. Keep records of every document you have checked. You should keep the copies securely for a further two years after the person stops working for you.

What happens next?

Once this check has been completed, you will only have to carry out a follow-up check on persons that have a time-limited right to work in the UK.

This guide should have all the essential information you need to know about right to work checks. If this is a bit much of a headache for you, please talk to us and we’ll see what we can do! (Paracetamol not provided).

You can also check the complete guides issued by the government:

Right to Work Checks

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