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An employer’s guide on how to carry out right to work checks

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In order to prevent illegal working in the UK, all employers are required to carry out document checks on people before employing them.

The right to work checks was introduced to ensure that only those with right to work can be employed.

The UK Visas and Immigration and Immigration Enforcement have prepared a guidance showing employers how to carry out right to work checks, why they need to do them, and which documents they can use.

The guidance explains:
• what a right to work check is
• why employers need to do right to work checks
• whose documents employers should check
• how to carry out checks
• when to carry out initial checks, follow-up checks and what happens under the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) regulations (TUPE)
• what documents are acceptable

As an employer, you must check that a job applicant is allowed to work for you in the UK before you employ them. You must therefore:
– see the applicant’s original documents
– check that the documents are valid with the applicant present.
– make and keep copies of the documents and record the date you made the check.

How to check the documents
Please check to ensure that:
• the documents are genuine, original and unchanged and belong to the person who has given them to you
• the dates for the applicant’s right to work in the UK haven’t expired
• photos are the same across all documents and look like the applicant
• dates of birth are the same across all documents
• the applicant has permission to do the type of work you’re offering (including any limit on the number of hours they can work)
• for students you see evidence of their study and vacation times
• if 2 documents give different names, the applicant has supporting documents showing why they’re different, eg a marriage certificate or divorce decree

Click here to download An employer’s guide to right to work checks

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