All potential employees require a right to work check, regardless of their nationality. As a UK employer, you have a legal obligation to comply with illegal work prevention legislation. This requires that you carry out basic checks on all employees resident in the United Kingdom to verify that they have the necessary permission to perform the work offered. The Ministry of the Interior's online service allows video call controls.
Employers don't need to see physical documents, as information on the right to work is provided in real time directly from the Home Office systems. However, employers must check that the appearance, age, date of birth and names are consistent, as well as any employment restrictions and the expiration date of the immigration permit. Employers were not required to carry out comprehensive or “corrected” checks retrospectively when a control adjusted for COVID had been used during the program. By properly verifying documents related to the right to work, employers should be able to rely on a legal defense against allegations of non-compliance, where they can demonstrate that they have taken consistent and compliant measures to ensure that they only hire people with permission to work in the United Kingdom.
It is essential for employers to carry out an initial verification of the right to work of everyone they intend to employ before hiring them. The employer then completes the online verification of the right to work by entering the person's details in the “verifier” section of the Ministry of the Interior's website on the right to work. Depending on the person's immigration status at the time of the check, there will be different requirements as to the type of documents that must be reviewed and kept. In those cases, the employer's legal excuse will remain in effect from the expiration date of the employee's leave for an additional grace period of up to 28 calendar days so that the employer can obtain a positive ECS verification or perform an online verification from the Home Office.
It is also important from a reputational standpoint for employers to carry out checks to ensure that no one is hired who has no right to work in the UK. Before hiring a student, ask them to complete an employment declaration form for students to check if they work for another employer and if their visa allows them to work full time outside school periods. The law requires employers to prove their right to work in order to fulfill their duty and be able to invoke a legal excuse in case of alleged violations. If you use an online check and a shared code, employers must see new employees face-to-face on their first day at work in order to confirm that it is indeed them who are attending.