The Employer Checking Service (ECS) is used to request verification from the Home Office that an individual has the right to work in the UK when they have an outstanding application or appeal and cannot present valid right to work documents before they start work as a casual or employee.
The Employer Checking Service generates a 'Positive Verification Notice' which confirms a person's right to work in the UK. This should be added on the employees personnel file until they can provide original documents for the repeat right to work check,
Where a current employee has submitted a visa application in the UK before their current visa expires, the conditions of their visa continues while the application is being processed. In the mean time, the employer must secure a right to work check or a Positive Verification Notice before the 28th day after the visa expires.
If an individual cannot provide original documents to satisfy a right to work check, because their documents are with the Home Office as part of an outstanding application or appeal, you must use the Employer Checking Service to establish their right to work until such times as they can provide original documents.
If you are carrying out a right to work check for a new employee/casual worker and they have an application or appeal outstanding, or they present a UK visa or Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) in the form of a vignette (paper visa) which is not in their current passport and will therefore need to apply to have their visa or ILR re-issued as a Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) (plastic visa), you should use the Employer Checking Service as soon as possible as the work cannot commence until you have successfully verified the individual's right to work. (full details at step 1 above)
If you are carrying out a repeat check for an existing employee/casual worker who holds a List B document and they have an application or appeal outstanding at the time their original visa is due to expire you must use the Employer Checking Service by day 21 after the expiry date so that you can verify the individual's right to work before the 28 days after expiry deadline. (full details at step 5 above)
- Seek and retain proof that an application was submitted to the Home Office, or an appeal was lodged, before the existing visa expired. Acceptable proof of an outstanding application includes a Home Office acknowledgement letter or proof of postage where it is clear that an application was sent to the Home Office. If an appeal is outstanding contact the Staff Immigration Team for guidance at this point.
- Contact the Home Office’s Employer Checking Service to request confirmation that an application was received from the migrant and that they can continue to work. You will need to complete an interactive online form and will therefore need to have the following information ready:
- The employee's full name
- Their date of birth
- Their nationality
- The job title
- The hours worked per week
- Their home address
- Their Home Office reference number or case ID (if they have either)
- The business name
- The business type
- The business contact information
- Within five working days of submitting a request to the Employer Checking Service, the Home Office will respond to verify whether they have received an application from the migrant and whether they may continue to work. A Positive Verification Notice from the Home Office along with a copy of the proof that an application or appeal is outstanding serves as evidence of right to work for six months .
- During the six months validity of the Positive Verification Notice, you should keep in regular contact with the applicant to check when they have received their new visa and complete a RTW check on their new visa once it has been received.
If, during any of the stages above you find that an individual's visa application has been rejected or you receive anything other than a Positive Verification Notice from the Employer Checking Service, please contact the Staff Immigration Team immediately.