The Updated Requirements of the Right To Work In The UK

There is a lot of confusion concerning the employment of new employees and their proof of entitlement to work in the UK. So here goes, we are going to go through what we need to do to ensure what checks must be carried out for proof of entitlement to work in the UK!

Manual Checks

Step 1 – Obtain the original documents

The home office provides 2 lists of documents, list A and list B, which employers may accept as a persons right to work in the UK. A document from list A will show that the person will have a definite right to work in the UK without restriction and should be checked before employment starts. Whereas list B contains documents that show the person has a limited time right to work in the UK and should be checked before employment starts and at the point of expiry. For these 2 lists look at the GOV.UK website!

Step 2 – Check the documents

All documents received from persons must be genuine while also showing that they are allowed to do the type of work they have been offered. Below is a list of what must be checked:

  • Photographs and dates of birth are consistent across all documents.
  • Expiry dates for permissions to work in the UK have not expired
  • Do they have any work restrictions
  • If they are studying while being employed you, as the employer must copy and retain details of their academic term and vacation times covering their study time in the UK.
  • All documents must be genuine. Not tampered with and belongs to the holder.
  • Reasons for any difference in names across documents can be explained by providing evidence. This can be documents such as marriage certificates, divorce decree absolute, deed poll, etc. These sorts of documents must be photocopied and a copy retained.

Step 3 – Copy the documents

The following must be copied and retained securely, kept for 2 years after employment, and then destroyed:

  • Passports, any page with expiry date, holders’ nationality, date of birth, signature, leave expiry date, biometric details, photograph, and any page holding confirmation of holder entitlement to enter or remain in the UK.
  • All other documents, document in full.

 Completing checks digitally

Since 1st October 2022, employers are no longer permitted to use digital checks that were bought during the global COVID pandemic. Instead, they must either complete checks manually or engage an identity service provider to do a digital check on their behalf using identification document verification technology.

When employers complete checks through identification document verification technology they must retain a clear copy of the identity check output for the duration of that person’s employment. They must also keep for 2 years after that person’s employment has ended.

Online Checks

(Foreign Nationals Only)

Currently, the online service supports those who hold 1 of the following:

  • Biometric residence permit
  • Biometric residence card
  • Status issued under the EU settlement scheme
  • Status issued under the points-based immigration system
  • British national overseas visa
  • Frontier worker’s permit

Share Code

To carry out an online check, a share code is needed; the individual provides this. This code enables their employer to see their home office’s right-to-work record when entering along with their date of birth.

Share codes are only valid for 90 days after they’ve been issued. Employers should visit ‘view a job applicant’ right to work details on and access the employer part of the service.

Step 1 – Use the home office online service

The individual may share the code with the employer, the individual can also share it through the service where the employer will get an email from To check the person’s right-to-work details:

  • Access the service ‘View a job applicant right to work details’ to view the employer part of the service
  • Enter the share code
  • Enter their date of birth

Step 2 – Check

Check that the photograph on the online right-to-work check is of the individual in question. This can be done from their physical appearance or via a live video link.

The individual can only be employed if they have the right to work in the UK.

Step 3 – Retain evidence

Evidence of the online check must be retained. For online checks, this could be a copy of the profile page. This must include the following:

  • Individuals photo
  • Name
  • Date of birth

This can be printed or saved as a PDF/HTML file. This must be kept throughout employment and also for 2 years after employment finishes, after this, it must be correctly destroyed.

For more information why not check the GOV.UK website out!

Does your business needs help with their HR, then why not use our Retained HR Service? Get in touch today to discuss further.

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