Human Resources

Right to work

Passports

Immigration

PREVENTING ILLEGAL WORKING AND IMPLICATIONS FOR SCHOOLS AND DEPARTMENTS

Important Information for the attention of Deans/Director of Services and others involved in the employment of staff. The following arrangements are applicable to all staff regardless of nationality.

 

Guidance Schools and Departments

Why do we need to do checks? 

Under the Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Act 2016 and the Immigration Act 2016, the University has a legal responsibility to ensure that all employees have the legal right to work in the UK.  Checks on right to work must be carried out for every person the University intends to employ regardless of their race, ethnicity or nationality before they begin any work.  If we do not comply with our duty to ensure our employees have the right to work in the UK, there are serious penalties for non-compliance such as significant fines, downgrading or withdrawal of the University’s sponsor licence. 

It should be noted that it is a criminal offence for the University to employ someone who has no right to work in the UK, or no right to do the work it is offering.

It is absolutely vital that the University complies with our immigration obligations as the impact of not doing so could have extremely serious effects on our ability to recruit both students and staff from overseas.  

How do we evidence a right to work check?

A right to work check means that acceptable documents are checked for showing permission to work before starting work at the University.  Follow-up checks are also required for visa holders who have time limited permission to work in the UK before their visa is due to expire. This is explained fully within our 'How to conduct a right to work check' guidance.

The Home Office provides two lists of documents (listed below) which employers may accept as a person’s proof of right to work in the UK. It is only these documents that will provide suitable proof of right to work. Any other documents other than those listed by the Home Office in List A and List B are not acceptable.

List A contains the range of documents which you may accept for a person who has a permanent and unrestricted right to work in the UK/ongoing excuse. This includes all UK, EU and Swiss nationals, and any non-EEA nationals holding Indefinite Leave to Remain (also known as settlement or permanent residence) or any individual holding Right of Abode in the UK. For employees who can prove their right to work by virtue of a document in List A, the University will establish a continuous statutory excuse for the duration of that person’s employment. On that basis, we do not have to conduct any further document checks. Note: This does not automatically apply to Croatian nationals. 

List B contains the range of documents which may be accepted for a person who has a temporary and restricted right to work in the UK/excuse for a limited period of time. This includes all non-EEA nationals subject to immigration control who require a visa to prove their right to work in the UK. For employees who can prove their right to work by virtue of a document in List B, the University will establish a time-limited statutory excuse to employ them. On that basis, in order to retain our statutory excuse, the University is required to conduct further checks at the point that time-limit expires (which is usually their visa expiry date). 

Who is responsible for undertaking the right to work checks?

  • Salaried staff: HR undertake the right to work checks.  New starters are asked to report to HR BEFORE their first day.  Failure to do so will result in them not being allowed to work or be paid until acceptable documents have been provided.
  • Casual staff employed for less than 4 weeks: Schools/Departments should ensure they undertake the right to work checks and retain the documents locally.  A contract of employment is not required and therefore HR should not be involved.
  • Casual staff employed for more than 4 weeks:  Schools/Departments should ensure a right to work check is undertaken and retained locally. A scanned copy of the check should be sent to HR with the contract request.  HR will not produce a contract until the right to work check has been received.
  • University Teachers: Schools/Departments should ensure a right to work check is undertaken for all University Teachers (including postgraduate students – referred to as PUTs) and retained locally.  Visa ends dates should be monitored by the Schools/Departments as per the University Teacher Administrator Guidance.
  • Academic Visitors: Schools/Departments should ensure that the visitors bring their passports (and visa if appropriate) to HR on the first day of their visit as per their invitation letter.  HR will then undertake the immigration check.

Who needs a right to work check?

All employees including casual workers and Academic Visitors.  Particular attention should be given to employed Tier 4 student visa holders who may be employed and paid via the monthly salaried or claims payroll as there are restrictions on the hours they can work as follows:

  • Undergraduates: Under the terms of their Tier 4 student visa, they are restricted to working a maximum of 20 hours in a set 7 day period (Monday to Sunday) during term time in all UK employment with no restrictions during the vacation periods.
  • Postgraduate Taught Students (Masters): Under the terms of their Tier 4 student visa, they are restricted to working a maximum of 20 hours in a set 7 day period (Monday to Sunday) during term time in all UK employment.  In line with University policy, this restriction will also apply during the summer vacation period.
  • Postgraduate Research Students (PhD): Under the terms of their Tier 4 student visa, they are restricted to working a maximum of 20 hours in a set 7 day period (Monday to Sunday) during term time in all UK employment.  In line with University policy, this restriction will also apply during all vacation periods.

It is the responsibility of both the employer and Tier 4 student to ensure that these restrictions are adhered to and the University is required to report any breaches to the UKVI.

How to conduct a right to work check

A.   Obtain original versions of one or more acceptable documents

Employment cannot commence until the right to work check has been completed.  No work of any nature is permissible in advance of this check including induction, uniform issuing and preparation work.

The Home Office provides two lists of documents (List A and List B) which employers may accept as a person’s proof of right to work in the UK. It is only these documents that will provide suitable proof of right to work. Any other documents other than those listed by the Home Office in List A and List B are not acceptable. (See Section 2. How do we evidence a right to work check?)

Essentially, the majority of acceptable documents for right to work checks fall into three categories depending upon the nationality of the worker as follows:

 1. UK Nationals (see List A)

a) Original passport OR

b) A full birth certificate issued in the UK which includes the name(s) of at least one of the holder’s parents together with an official document containing the National Insurance Number and name issued by a Government agency or previous employer.

2. European Economic Area (EEA) Nationals (See List A)

These include Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, the Republic of Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden (and the UK). Although Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway are not members of the European Union (EU), their citizens have the same rights as EU citizens to enter, live in and work in the UK. NB: If Croatian an old style work permit is required and HR advice should be obtained

a)    Original valid/in date passport or ID card

3. All other overseas nationals (see List B)

 a)    Original valid/in date passport together with

b)    Original valid/in date visa/biometric residence card (this could be a visa stamp in passport or a separate card.  If separate card, ensure both front and back are photocopied)

B.   Check

Check the document’s validity in the presence of the holder.

You must check that they are genuine and that the person presenting them is the prospective employee or employee, the rightful holder and allowed to do the type of work you are offering.  You must check:

  • photographs and dates of birth are consistent across documents and with the person’s appearance in order to detect impersonation;
  • expiry dates for permission to be the UK have not passed;
  • any work restrictions to determine if they are allowed to do the type of work on offer the documents are genuine, have not been tampered with and belong to the holder; and
  • the reasons for any difference in the names across documents (eg original marriage certificate, divorce decree absolute, deed poll).  Supporting documents should also be photocopied and a copy retained.

 C.    Copy

Make a clear copy of each document in a format which cannot later be altered and retain the copy securely: electronically or in hard copy.  You must also retain a secure record of the date on which you made the check.

a)    Passports: personal details page and visa page (if this is present in the passport)

b)    All other documents: the document in full, including both sides of a Biometric Residence Permit/visa card

Each photocopied side should have a standard label as follows:

1. I ………………………………………………..confirm the following:

2. The photograph/s in the document/s are consistent with the appearance of the person

3. The date of birth listed consistent with the appearance of the person

4. I am satisfied that the documents presented to me are genuine and have not been tampered with and belong to the holder

5. The person has given me consent for copies to be taken and retained

Signed………………………… The date on which this right to work check was made……………….…….. Time: ……………………….

Repeat checks

Checks should be repeated for any OVERSEAS CASUAL STAFF ON VISAS if they have not worked in the same role within the last 3 months. Repeat checks are not required for UK/EEA nationals provided the passport presented for the original first check is in date.

Immigration procedures

Important Information for the attention of Deans/Director of Services and others involved in the employment of staff.

Tier 2 (General) – under Tier 2 of the Points Based System (PBS) the University has to assign a Certificate of Sponsorship to each individual it wishes to employ to enable them to obtain the appropriate permission to come to, or remain in the UK.

Tier 5 (Government Authorised Exchange Scheme) – this route can be used for Academic Visitors to enable them to visit the UK as sponsored researchers up to a maximum of 24 months and the University is required to assign a Certificate of Sponsorship for visitors outside the UK/EEA on behalf of the visitor to enable them to apply for a Tier 5 visa. If they are in the UK in another immigration category, they cannot apply to extend their stay by switching into the Government Authorised Exchange category. If they are here in the Government Authorised Exchange category, they cannot apply to extend their stay by switching into another immigration category. In both cases, the Visitor must leave the country before they can apply.

Assigning a Certificate of Sponsorship

In order to assign a certificate of sponsorship, an individual must score a total of 70 points as follows

Criteria

 

Points

Sponsorship

If the job is on the shortage occupation list Or

30

 

If the job meets the resident labour market test (1) Or

30

 

If the migrant is switching from a post-study worker category

30

Qualifications (2)

Graduate level occupation

20

Future Expected Earnings

£20,800 per annum or the appropriate rate for the job if the applicant is considered to be a 'new entrant' (usually more than this depending on the Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) code for the role)

OR if you are not a 'new entrant' £30,000 per annum or appropriate rate for the job (which ever is the highest)

20

Maintenance

£945 in personal savings, which has been in your bank account for a continuous 90-day period ending no more than 31 days before the date of your application;

Or

your sponsor has an A rating and has confirmed in your certificate of sponsorship that it will maintain and accommodate you (to a level of £945 or more) until the end of your first month of employment in the UK if required. 

10

English language skills

If the migrant is a national of a majority English speaking country (3)

Or

If the migrant has passed an English language test (4)

Or

If the migrant has a degree taught in English

10

Please note that the 70 points must include 10 points for maintenance and 10 points for English language skills.

Notes:

(1) The resident labour market test requires us to advertise externally vacancies for a minimum of four weeks.

(2) ORIGINAL degree certificates or VERIFIED copies MUST be provided before a Certificate of Sponsorship can be assigned.

(3) The Home Office recognises the following countries as majority English speaking:

• Antigua and Barbuda;
• Australia;
• The Bahamas;
• Barbados;
• Belize;
• Canada;
• Dominica;
• Grenada;
• Guyana;
• Jamaica;
• New Zealand;
• St Kitts and Nevis;
• St Lucia;
• St Vincent and the Grenadines;
• Trinidad and Tobago;
• United States of America.

(4) If the candidate needs to sit an English Language test, they must ensure that the test is one approved by the Home Office. An original test certificate or certificate number MUST be supplied for verification purposes.

It is advisable for individuals to undertake the English Language test as soon as possible (if necessary) to avoid any delay.

Action to be taken after a Certificate of Sponsorship has been obtained

Once a certificate of sponsorship has been assigned details of the Certificate number will be sent to the individual so that they can apply for a visa or for leave to remain in the UK.

Post Recruitment of Migrant Workers

Duties of Line Managers

Maintaining up-to-date contact details

It is important if Line Managers become aware of any changes to the contact details of migrant workers they ensure the migrant updates their details via my.HR immediately.

Reporting any unauthorised absence 

A requirement for any sponsors of non-EEA workers is to report certain migrant activities or incidents to UK Visas and Immigration at the earliest possible date since the activity occurred.

All Line Managers are therefore required to report such migrant activity and if they become aware that a migrant employee is absent without authorisation

Immigration Form 6 Reporting Form for Migrant Workers‌ (Migrant Workers Reporting Form for Line Managers) should be completed and returned to Human Resources on the FIRST DAY of the relevant activity occurring so that the UKVI reporting requirements can be complied with.

Unauthorised absence does not include authorised annual leave, sickness absence which has been appropriately reported through the University’s sickness absence reporting procedure or any other leave (such as compassionate, parental, maternity, study etc) authorised under a University process.  Line Managers should therefore ensure that staff are aware of the process for reporting all forms of leave, including annual leave.

Activities to be reported include:

Does not turn up on first day

 

If a sponsored migrant does not turn up on the first day of work the report must be provided within 10 working days and must include any reason given by the migrant for non-attendance

Unauthorised absence from work

 

If a sponsored migrant is absent from work or study for more than 10 working days without the sponsor’s granted permission, the report must be provided to the UKVI within 10 working days of the tenth day of absence

Termination of Contract/Resignation

 

If a sponsored migrant’s contract of employment is terminated (including where the migrant resigns or is dismissed) a report must be provided within 10 working days of the event in question and should include the name and address of any new employer that the migrant has joined if this is known

Change in migrant’s circumstances

If there are any significant changes in the migrant’s circumstances, for example a change of job or salary (but not just job title or annual pay rises)

Suspicious activity

 

Any suspicions raised that a migrant is breaching the conditions of leave.  The sponsor must also give the police any information it may have that suggests that a migrant may be engaging in terrorism or other criminal activity

In all the above cases, it is the responsibility of the Line Manager to complete Immigration Form 6‌‌ and return this to HR asap.

 Immigration Form 4‌ (Document to be issued to all Employees with Limited Leave to Remain in the UK on first day of employment) is issued to all new staff on their first day of work informing them of the above requirements under Home Office regulations.‌

Guidance for prospective employees

Why do we need to do checks?

Under the Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Act 2016 and the Immigration Act 2016, the University has a legal responsibility to ensure that all employees have the legal right to work in the UK.  Checks on right to work must be carried out for every person the University intends to employ regardless of their race, ethnicity or nationality before they begin any work.  If we do not comply with our duty to ensure our employees have the right to work in the UK, there are serious penalties for non-compliance such as significant fines, downgrading or withdrawal of the University’s sponsor licence.  

How do we evidence a right to work check?

 A right to work check means that acceptable documents are checked for showing permission to work before starting work at the University.  Follow-up checks are also required for visa holders who have time limited permission to work in the UK before their visa is due to expire.

The Home Office provides two lists of documents (please see right to work checklist below) which employers may accept as a person’s proof of right to work in the UK. It is only these documents that will provide suitable proof of right to work. Any other documents other than those listed by the Home Office in List A and List B are not acceptable.

Provide original versions of one or more acceptable documents

Employment cannot commence until the right to work check has been completed.  No work of any nature is permissible in advance of this check including induction, uniform issuing and preparation work.

Essentially, the majority of acceptable documents for right to work checks fall into three categories depending upon your nationality as follows:

1. UK Nationals (see List A)

a) Original passport OR

b) A full birth certificate issued in the UK which includes the name(s) of at least one of the holder’s parents together with an official document containing the National Insurance Number and name issued by a Government agency or previous employer.

2. European Economic Area (EEA) Nationals (See List A)

These include Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, the Republic of Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden (and the UK). Although Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway are not members of the European Union (EU), their citizens have the same rights as EU citizens to enter, live in and work in the UK. NB: If Croatian an old style work permit is required and HR advice should be obtained

a)    Original valid/in date passport or ID card

3. All other overseas nationals (see List B)

a)    Original valid/in date passport together with

Original valid/in date visa/biometric residence card (this could be a visa stamp in passport or a separate card.  If separate card, ensure both front and back are photocopied)

Who is responsible for undertaking the right to work checks?

Salaried staff: HR undertake the right to work checks.  New starters are asked to report to HR BEFORE their first day.  Failure to do so will result in you not being allowed to work or be paid until acceptable documents have been provided.  Please contact HR if for advice if required as only in exceptional circumstances will a right to work check be allowed on your first day.

Casual staff employed for less than 4 weeks: You should produce your original documents to the Administrator in your Schools/Departments.  A contract of employment is not required as your employment is for less than 4 weeks.

Casual staff employed for more than 4 weeks including University Teachers:  You should produce your original documents to the Administrator in your School/Department. You will receive a contract once your right to work check documents have been produced.

Academic Visitors: You should produce your original documents to HR upon your arrival at the University if you have received a formal invitation letter.  If your visit is for less than two weeks, you should produce your original documents to the Administrator in your School/Department.

Who needs a right to work check?

All employees including casual workers and Academic Visitors.  If you are a student holding a Tier 4 visa, particular attention should be given to the restrictions on the hours you are able to work under the terms of your visa and also University policy regarding term times as follows:

  • Undergraduates: Under the terms of your Tier 4 student visa, you are restricted to working a maximum of 20 hours in a set 7 day period (Monday to Sunday) during term time in all UK employment with no restrictions during the vacation periods.
  • Postgraduate Taught Students (Masters): Under the terms of your Tier 4 student visa, you are restricted to working a maximum of 20 hours in a set 7 day period (Monday to Sunday) during term time in all UK employment.  In line with University policy, this restriction will also apply during the summer vacation period.
  • Postgraduate Research Students (PhD): Under the terms of your Tier 4 student visa, you are restricted to working a maximum of 20 hours in a set 7 day period (Monday to Sunday) during term time in all UK employment.  In line with University policy, this restriction will also apply during all vacation periods.

It is the responsibility of both the employer and the Tier 4 student to ensure that these restrictions are adhered to and the University is required to report any breaches to the UKVI which could have serious consequences.

Discrimination

In implementing the above, you are reminded that the University is obliged by law to ensure that its recruitment practices do not discriminate against individuals on racial grounds.

You should not employ anyone on the basis of their claim to be British or a national from a country in the European Economic Area or whether you think they appear to be from such countries. All job applicants must be treated in the same way regardless of race.

Certificates of sponsorship

The procedures referred to for University Teachers and Casual staff are separate from those connected with the employment of overseas (non EEA/UK) nationals requiring a sponsorship in order to take up an appointment at the University, and permission to remain in the UK for that purpose.  As at present, the HR Officers (recruitment) will make the necessary arrangements to assign a Certificate and advise on leave to remain. In these circumstances checks within Schools/Departments are not required.

How to conduct a right to work check

School/Departments to be aware of importance of all right to work checks being completed PRIOR to work commencing. Failure to produce original documents requires the start of work/pay being delayed until the date original documents are produced and checked.

Original documents must be produced and photocopied. Each photocopied side should have a) signature b) printed name c) date of check (label template provided by HR to be used)

NB. Checks should be repeated for any OVERSEAS CASUAL STAFF ON VISAS if they have not worked in the same role within the last 3 months or at the beginning of each semester for casual University Teachers. Repeat checks are not required for UK/EEA nationals provided the passport presented for the original first check is in date

Checks fall into three categories as follows depending upon the nationality of the worker.

1) UK Nationals

a)  Original passport OR

b)  A full birth certificate issued in the UK which includes the name(s) of at least one of the holder’s parents together with an official document containing the National Insurance Number and name issued by a Government agency or previous employer.

 2) European Economic Area (EEA) Nationals

These include Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, the Republic of Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden (and the UK). Although Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway are not members of the European Union (EU), their citizens have the same rights as EU citizens to enter, live in and work in the UK. NB: If Croatian an old style work permit is required and HR advice should be obtained

a)    Original valid/in date passport or ID card

3) All other overseas nationals

a)    Original valid/in date passport together with

b)    Original valid/in date visa/biometric residence card (this could be a visa stamp in passport or a separate card. If separate card, ensure both front and back are photocopied)