Right to work check guidance
The Home Office require the university to conduct a process called a right to work check prior to employees (including casual workers, External Examiners and individuals undertaking voluntary work) commencing their employment. In addition, the university must ensure that Academic Visitors have the permission to undertake the required activities prior to commencing their visit. Conducting a compliant right to work check prior to the first day of employment or visit will provide the university with a statutory excuse against liability of a civil penalty or downgrading or withdrawal of the University’s licence to sponsor international talent.
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. This is a Home Office requirement and 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.
A right to work check means that acceptable documents are checked for showing permission to work before starting work at the University. No work of any nature is permissible in advance of this check including induction, training, uniform issuing and preparation work. Failure to produce valid documents for a right to work check will result in the start of the work being delayed.
Follow-up checks are also required for those with time-limited right to work in the UK before their permission/visa is due to expire.
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.
Essentially, the majority of acceptable documents for right to work checks fall into the below categories depending upon the nationality of the worker as follows:
1) British and Irish nationals
a) Original passport (current or expired) OR
b) A birth certificate (short or long) or adoption certificate issued in the UK, Channel Islands, Isle of Man or Ireland together with an official document containing the National Insurance Number and name issued by a Government agency or previous employer.
2) Overseas nationals including:
- EU/EEA nationals with status under the EU Settlement Scheme (pre-settled or settled status)
- Overseas nationals with a biometric residence permit (BRP), biometric residence card (BRC) or frontier worker permit
Online right to work check using a share code followed by an identity check (video call or in person) to confirm photo matches the individual.
Home Office Employer Checking Service
In addition, an Employer Checking Service application can be submitted for individuals with an outstanding visa application for further leave to remain in the UK, transferring indefinite leave to remain in the UK from an expired passport to a biometric residence permit, administrative review or appeal with the Home Office. The Recruitment and Immigration Team (for new employees) or Senior HR Officer in the Partnering Team (for existing employees), will complete the Employer Checking Service application with the individual’s permission.
- Salaried staff: The Recruitment and Immigration Team will undertake the right to work checks. New starters are contacted to arrange their right to work check BEFORE their first day of employment. Failure to do so will result in them not being allowed to work or be paid until acceptable documents have been provided.
- Sponsored employees and visitors: The Recruitment and Immigration Team will undertake the right to work checks for all sponsored employees and visitors (Skilled Worker, International Sportsperson and Temporary Work – Government Authorised Exchange visa holders). In addition to the right to work check, there are other compliance requirements that the Recruitment and Immigration Team must complete.
- Casual staff: Schools/Departments should ensure they undertake the right to work checks and scan the documents to email@example.com if using a scanner on campus, or email Claims.Support@lboro.ac.uk in line with the casual right to work check process. For guidance on how to submit these documents, please see the Casual Right to Work checks guidance.
- Voluntary workers (including guest lecturers and conference speakers): Schools/Departments should ensure they undertake the right to work checks and email the documents to Hrimmigration@lboro.ac.uk with subject line: Voluntary worker RTW.
- University Teachers: Schools/Departments should ensure they undertake a right to work check for all University Teachers (including postgraduate students – referred to as PUTs) and send to the Recruitment and Immigration Team by email to Recruitment@lboro.ac.uk with subject line: UT RTW. Visa expiry dates should be monitored by the Schools/Departments as per the University Teacher Administrator Guidance.
- Academic Visitors: Schools/Departments should ensure that visitors arrange a check of their document(s) with the Recruitment and Immigration Team PRIOR to the first day of their visit as per their invitation letter to ensure they have the permission to undertake the required activities at the university.
All employees, casual workers, External Examiners and individuals undertaking voluntary work require a right to work check prior to undertaking any work at the University. The University must also see evidence of Academic Visitors permission to undertake the required activities at the University prior to the visit commencing.
Whether a right to work check is required depends on the activities the individual will be undertaking at the university;
Right to work check required:
- All employees (British and Irish nationals, status under the EU Settlement Scheme, visa holders including student visas)
- Sponsored Academic Visitors (Temporary Work – Government Authorised Exchange visa)
- Casual staff
- External Examiners
- Visiting Professors and Visiting Fellows receiving an honorarium
- Voluntary work (for example guest lecturers and conference speakers – see additional guidance on volunteering and voluntary work in the ‘Who needs a right to work check?’ section of the right to work checks webpage)
- Continuous service gap of more than 3 months
- Where no existing right to work check can be located on file
Right to work check not required:
- Working overseas and not entering the UK
- Self-employed individuals
- Agency workers
- Volunteers (see additional guidance on volunteering and voluntary work in the ‘Who needs a right to work check?’ section of the right to work checks webpage)
- Academic Visitors (please note that all Academic Visitors must have their permission to undertake the required activities checked prior to commencing their visit at the university, including each time they enter the UK if visiting the university on multiple occasions throughout the period of their invitation).
Particular attention should be given to employed student visa holders who may be employed and paid via the monthly salaried or claims payroll as there are restrictions on the number of hours they can work each week, which is available on our ‘working on a student visa’ webpage. It is the responsibility of both the employer and student visa holder to ensure that the restrictions are adhered to and the University is required to report any breaches to the UKVI.
Individuals awarded the honorary title of Visiting Professor or Visiting Fellow and receiving an honorarium payment, must complete a right to work check before commencing the appointment at the university.
In addition, it is important that the University monitors individuals undertaking voluntary work, for example, guest lecturers and conference speakers. UKVI rules on determining whether a role is volunteering or voluntary work can be complex. If the individual is to receive a payment and/or expenses/benefits in kind, the role is considered voluntary work and a right to work check will be required. In addition, if there is a mutuality of obligation whereby the individual is expected to undertake the work and an obligation on the university to provide the work, it is likely to be considered voluntary work.
The table below summarises the scenarios for when an individual undertaking voluntary work will require a right to work check, for example a guest lecturer or conference speaker;
Right to Work Check Required?
No expenses paid
Travel and/or subsistence expenses paid
In the first instance, please contact the HR Partnering Team before any volunteering or voluntary work is carried out in order to determine whether the position will require a right to work check in line with the UKVI rules.
Step 1: Arrange for the individual to visit you in person with their original documents for their right to work check. The check must take place before the start date of the work.
In most cases, the individual will need to present:
- Original passport (current or expired) showing the holder is a British or Irish citizen.
- A birth certificate (short or long) or adoption certificate issued in the UK, Channel Islands, Isle of Man or Ireland together with an official document containing the National Insurance Number and name issued by a Government agency or previous employer.
Note: List A of the Employer’s Guide to Right to Work Checks gives the full list of acceptable documents to establish a continuous statutory excuse. If you are presented with alternative documents other than those listed above for a right to work check, please contact the Recruitment and Immigration Team for advice.
Step 2: Check the original documents in the presence of the holder.
You must check that the individual’s documents are genuine and that the person presenting them is the prospective employee, the rightful holder and allowed to do the type of work you are offering. You must check that:
- photographs and dates of birth are consistent across documents and with the person’s appearance in order to detect impersonation;
- 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 (e.g. original marriage certificate, divorce decree absolute, deed poll). Supporting documents must also be photocopied and a copy retained.
Step 3: Complete a right to work check label (available to download from the University’s Immigration webpage) with your name, signature and date the check was undertaken.
Step 4: Take a scanned copy of the passport personal details page (or the birth certificate and evidence of NI number) with the completed right to work check label beside it. If you are scanning more than one document, every photocopied side should have the label shown on it.
Step 5: Ensure that the scanned copies are clear, legible, and saved as a pdf or jpeg file.
In most cases, right to work checks for EU/EEA and overseas nationals should take place using the Home Office online service. Online right to work checks can only be used for individuals that hold one of the following;
- Biometric residence permit (BRP)
- Biometric residence card (BRC)
- Frontier worker permit
- Pre-settled and settled status granted under the EU Settlement Scheme
Please note that a manual in-person check of the above documents is no longer acceptable.
Note: In cases where an EU/EEA or overseas national has an alternative immigration status to those listed above, please contact the Recruitment and Immigration Team for advice on how they may evidence their right to work via another method. List A and List B of the Employer’s Guide to Right to Work Checks gives the full list of acceptable documents to establish a continuous or time-limited statutory excuse.
Step 1: Ask the individual to view their own right to work status via the Home Office’s online service. They must then provide you with a share code and their date of birth to allow you to conduct the right to work check;
- prove your right to work – for individuals that have a valid e-visa, biometric residence permit (BRP), biometric residence card (BRC) or frontier worker permit
- view and prove your immigration status – for individuals that have pre-settled or settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme
In some cases, you may receive an email directly from firstname.lastname@example.org. The share code will be valid for 90 days.
Step 2: Use the Home Office online service (view a job applicant’s right to work details) and type in the share code and individual’s date of birth. This should give you access to the ‘profile’ page that includes the individual’s photo and confirms their right to work.
Note: You must only employ the individual, or continue to employ an existing employee, if you are conducting a follow-up check, if the online check confirms they have the right to work and are not subject to a condition preventing them from doing the work in question. If the online right to work check does not confirm that the individual has the right to work in the UK and do the work in question, you will not have established a statutory excuse from this check if you proceed to employ them. In this situation, please speak to the Recruitment and Immigration Team immediately.
Step 3: Either print the profile document or save it as a pdf file.
Step 4: Arrange to see the individual either in-person or via video call to conduct an identity check. Check that the photograph on the online right to work check is of the individual presenting themselves for work (i.e. the information provided by the check relates to the individual and they are not an imposter).
Step 5: Either: Complete the standard right to work check label, including your name and the date you undertook the identity check, and apply this to the online check document.
Or: Tick the boxes on the online check document and add your name and the date to confirm who conducted the check and when.
If an employee starts a new role/contract, but the University already has a valid right to work check on file from a previous role, it may not be necessary to undertake a repeat right to work check.
A repeat right to work check must be undertaken in the following circumstances:
- When there has been a gap of more than 3 months between contracts or since the individual last worked for the University.
- When an individual’s permission to work in the UK is time limited, a repeat check must be undertaken prior to the expiry date of their leave to remain in the UK in order to confirm that they continue to have permission to work in the UK.
- At the beginning of each academic year for casual University Teachers.
- Where no existing right to work check can be located on file.
Employees on core contracts
If you are undertaking a right to work check for a salaried postholder on behalf of the Recruitment and Immigration Team, please email the check to Recruitment@lboro.ac.uk with details of the position that the individual will be undertaking, or alternatively upload the check as a document attachment against the candidate in iTrent.
Please email the right to work check to Recruitment@lboro.ac.uk, ensuring the subject line reads: UT RTW.
Please see the ‘How to Submit Right to Work Checks for Casual Workers’ guide. Please ensure you follow the instructions carefully to ensure the check is indexed against the correct individual.
Voluntary workers (including guest lecturers and conference speakers)
Please email the right to work check to Hrimmigration@lboro.ac.uk, ensuring the subject line reads: Voluntary worker RTW.