Verifying the Right to Work: A Comprehensive Guide for Employers

A comprehensive guide for employers on verifying right-to-work status for potential employees. Learn how you can ensure compliance with laws and regulations while protecting both employers and employees.

Verifying the Right to Work: A Comprehensive Guide for Employers

A right to work verification is an essential process for employers to ensure that all of their employees are legally eligible to work in the country. This control is the responsibility of the employer, and any violation can result in serious consequences. To verify the legal status of potential employees, employers must check their identity and documents such as a passport, driver's license, and other legal documents. Additionally, employers use these checks to make sure that the candidate has no criminal record and is not prohibited from working in certain industries or functions.

The overall goal of this verification is to ensure that both the employer and employee comply with laws when hiring. Human resources must also conduct regular checks of documents to maintain standards and identify any potential issues. In recent years, right to work checks have become a fundamental part of the selection process for many companies. If current employees have limited permission to stay and work, employers should be sure to schedule and perform a follow-up check before their current leave period expires. When carrying out a manual check, the Home Office establishes the documents that a person must accept to demonstrate their right to work in two lists: list A or list B.

To do this, employers must perform basic checks on all employees resident in the United Kingdom to verify that they have the necessary permission to perform the work offered. The first step in performing a verification is to be in physical possession of the original documents when performing the verification, to be physically present with the person or virtually via live video, unless using the Ministry of the Interior's online verification service. The law requires employers to prove their right to work in order to fulfill their obligations and be able to invoke a legal excuse in case of alleged violations. The duration of a right to work check may vary depending on the individual's specific circumstances and the method used to carry out the control. Online controls can be performed via video call and there is no need to view physical documents, as information is accessed directly from the Ministry of the Interior.

Today, all employers in the UK are required by law to verify their employees' right to work before hiring them. While the program was open, employers were allowed to perform document checks remotely using video calls, and applicants submitted their documentation electronically instead of in the original format. It is not uncommon for central human resources functions to have developed a system that complies with legislation on the right to work, but in practice, controls on the right to work carried out at local levels by managers and direct supervisors may not meet required standards. The Employer's Check Service (ECS) is a free online service from the Ministry of the Interior that allows employers to meet their obligation to verify employees' right to work in circumstances where they cannot use checks online or provide acceptable documentation for manual checks. Conducting a right to work check is an important responsibility for employers. It helps ensure compliance with laws and regulations while protecting both employers and employees from potential legal issues. By following these steps, employers can ensure that they are conducting thorough and accurate right-to-work verifications.