Right To Work Checks In The UK – A Guide
Any business or organisation that employs people has a legal duty to ensure that any employees or new recruits have proven their right to work in the UK.
In order to ascertain whether a person is allowed to work in the UK, the employer must carry out something known as a ‘right to work check’.
What Is A Right To Work Check?
A Right To Work Check is a process formalized by the UK Government Home Office, which involves checking an individual’s documents to make sure they are eligible to work in the UK.
The Right To Work Check must be made before an individual starts work in a specific role. The check cannot take place after they have already started work, it must be done in advance.
If an individual’s right to work check is time limited, then a secondary check must also be done to follow-up .
Why Are Right To Work Checks Important?
Right To Work Checks are an important way to establish whether someone is legally allowed to work in the UK.
By carrying out a Right To Work Check, the employer makes it difficult for people to work illegally and that the individual is free to work in the UK.
Employers can face a civil penalty if the government finds out that they have employed somebody to work illegally and didn’t carry out a Right To Work Check.
Employers that knowingly employ somebody who doesn’t have the right to work in the UK can be imprisoned for up to five years or be liable for a large fine.
Who Needs To Get A Right To Work Check?
If you are an employer in the UK, then you should carry out a Right To Work Check on all current and potential employees.
It is important that employers do not simply assume that somebody is eligible to work in the UK based on their nationality or ethnic background. Also, they should not make assumptions based on how long the individual has been a resident in the UK. Every single employee and potential employee should be checked for their right to work in the same way.
Also, employers need to be aware of government legislation regarding unlawful discrimination. Employers can refer to the a government handbook called “Code of practice for employers: Avoiding unlawful discrimination while preventing illegal working.”
How Do You Do A Right To Work Check?
In order to carry out a Right To Work Check, you need to do the following three steps:
- Request the individual’s ID documents
- Check the individual’s ID documents
- Make a copy of the documents and record the check details.
The documents must be thoroughly checked to make sure that they are genuine and valid. You must be in physical possession of the original ID documents and they cannot be checked remotely.
How To Check ID Documents?
The following details should be checked for a Right To Work Check:
- Consistency of photograph with the person’s actual physical appearance
- Dates of birth match up
- Falls within the expiry date
- Check that there are no work restrictions
- Check the authenticity of the documents and that they have not been tampered with
- Clarify any inconsistency in names, e.g. marriage or divorce paperwork.
Once the details have all been checked, you need to make a clear copy of the documents and store them in a secure location, either as a hard copy or as a digital image. The date of the Right To Work Check should be recorded.
Each Right To Work Check needs to be stored for 2 years after the end of the person’s employment, after which they can be destroyed securely.
Get A DBS Check with a Right To Work Check
To make sure that a person is right for the job in hand, you should consider requesting a DBS Check. A DBS Check is a criminal background check that will highlight any past misdeeds on a persons’ criminal record.
We can help you and your employees to get DBS Checks. Get in touch today to discuss your DBS Check needs.