What is a Right to Work Check?
All employers have an obligation to prevent illegal employees from working in the UK. To prevent hiring illegal candidates, employers must carry out a Right to Work Check on individuals before they begin their employment. The Right to Work Check is a three-stage process of obtaining, checking, and copying identity documents. Agenda Screening Services go the extra mile for you, offering a comprehensive check to verify the documents handed to you by candidates, providing extra security for your business.
By conducting the checks as set out in this guide, you will have a statutory excuse against liability for a civil penalty. Businesses that don’t carry out these searches before an employee’s first shift are committing an illegal offence. Penalties of this nature include:
- A civil penalty of up to £20,000 per illegal employee
- A criminal conviction of up to 5 years
- Closure of the business and compliance order issued by the court
Why use Agenda’s Right to Work Check service?
The documents are checked and verified, confirming that the candidate has the correct documents to work in the UK (or specified country). However, where legislation states the employer must see original documents this must be done by the employer, not Agenda. Your time and efforts are greatly reduced using Agenda’s service. Important steps of the process will be carried out by us, so you have compliant, verified documents.
What is the current UK Right to Work legislation?
There were major changes to the Right to Work Check during the pandemic. Most importantly employers were able to use an online checking service by a virtual meeting with your new hire rather than in person. This has been extended until 5th April 2022.
After 5th April 2022, the law will revert to all documentation being checked in person.
From July 1st, 2021, retrospective checks are not required for EU, EEA, and Swiss. However, it is now, no longer acceptable for employers to accept EU, EEA, or Swiss passports as evidence of the right to work for candidates. Employers now employing EU, EEA, and Swiss citizens must prove their right to work status using their share code and their date of birth.
What is a Share Code?
Share codes are 9 alphanumeric characters, valid for 30 days. Migrant workers can generate share codes by submitting their Biometric Residence Permit (BRP), Biometric Residence Card (BRC), and their passport or National Identity Card. If the candidate is without digital immigration status, employers can also check their original documents.
How to conduct right to work searches
According to government guidelines, when checking an applicant’s original documents in person, this is the process you must follow:
- Ask to see the applicant’s original documents.
- Check that the documents are valid with the candidate present.
- Make and keep copies of the documents and record the date you made the check.
You need to make sure:
- 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 have not expired
- Photos are the same across all documents and is the applicant
- Date of birth is 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 two documents give different names, the applicant has supporting documents showing why they’re different, such as a marriage certificate or divorce decree
When you copy the documents:
- Make a copy that cannot be changed, for example, a photocopy
- Make sure the copy is clear enough to read
- For passports, copy any page with the expiry date and applicant’s details (for example nationality, date of birth, and photograph) including endorsements, for example, a work visa
- Keep copies during the applicant’s employment and for two years after they stop working for you
- Record the date the check was made
For more information
To stay up to date with the latest information regarding the right to work legislation please follow our LinkedIn and check our website regularly.
Agenda Screening Services provide market-leading Right to Work checks, contact us today to find out how we can provide your business with the extra protection it deserves.