A right to work checks of the employee's original documents must be completed before work commences. It is generally recommended that employers carry out the check at the interview stage to ensure the employer has checked and retained copies of a worker's original document and are satisfied they can work legally in the UK. This gives the employer a statutory excuse against sanction from the Home Office.
If checks have not been carried out at the interview stage, a right to work check must be carried out before work starts or first thing on the first day. Where a contract start date falls on a weekend or public holiday, and cannot be delayed as it has been specified by a funding organisation, the check must be carried out before the first day.
The Home Office provide a list of document types that can be accepted as proof of right to work. These are divided into List A and List B documents:
List A documents (permanent right to work: no repeated check needed)
- British passport
- Irish passport or passport card
- Proof an EU/EEA national has Settled status
- Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) BRP or vignette (please contact SIT if a valid ILR vignette is in an expired passport)
List B documents (time limited right to work: repeated check needed)
Time limited UK visa (ie Global Talent, Skilled Worker/ Tier 2, Student/ Tier 4, Tier 5, family visa, UK Ancestry):
1) Vignette (entry clearance sticker in passport) - normally valid for 30 days, and used to enter the UK
2) Biometric residence permit (BRP) - credit-card sized plastic visa cards are issued to those staying in the UK for more than six months. Must be collected from designated Post Office within 10 days of arriving into the UK.
Go to the Home Office website to View a job applicant's right to work details where you will have to enter their 'share code' and date of birth to view a 'profile' page with their details.
A repeat right to work check must be conducted before the visa expires. Visa holders may be advised to collect their Biometric Residence Permit at the designated Post Office. If the BRP is delayed, and the vignette is about to expire, please contact SIT.