Reminder – The Right to Work in the UK checking process was updated on 6th April 2022

As I am sure you are aware, before you employ someone, you must check that they have the right to work in the UK. There are currently 2 ways of doing this, with a 3rd service in the pipeline.

1. UK Citizens: Manually checking that someone has the correct documentation eg 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.

You must physically see the passport, check that the photograph and details match the person who you are recruiting and that the pages have not been tampered with in any way.

If the potential recruit doesn’t have a passport, then alternative documents can be provided such as:

  • a birth or adoption certificate issued 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.

All documentation should be photocopied and retained in your personnel files.

A list of other acceptable documents can be found in Section 7, Annex A on page 33 of this guideEmployers Guide to Right to Work Checks.pdf

2. Non-UK Citizens: Using the Home Office’s online checking service

For the recruitment of staff from outside of the UK, the prospective employee should provide you with a “share code” which allows you to check that they have the right to work in this country, the type of work they can do and how long they can work in the UK for.

The potential new recruit will need to generate their share code by visiting: Prove Your Right to Work

To then complete the check, you will need to input the candidate’s date of birth along with their right to work share code into the checking system accessed here: Check and View Right to Work

When the result appears, check that the photograph and other details match those of the person you are hiring.

Once completed, print off a copy of the result and keep it in your personnel files. 

3. Still to be confirmed – Engaging the services of a reputable company to complete the checks for you

The Home Office is in the process of providing a number of 3rd parties with licences to check the Right to Work and identities of prospective employees on behalf of employers, although this service will incur a fee. 

Further details can be found on the web page noted below, although the list of approved suppliers in section 6 is still to be published: 
Digital identity certification for right to work and criminal record checks

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to get in touch.