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In the United Kingdom, employers have a legal obligation to ensure that their employees have the right to work in the country. To meet this requirement, they are required to conduct right to work checks on all prospective employees before offering them a job. These checks play a crucial role in preventing illegal working and safeguarding the job market. This simplified guide provides an overview of the process and includes source links for further information. 

Manual right to work checks:

  • Obtain Original Documents: ask the employee to provide original documents. Acceptable documents include passports, biometric residence permits, and certain national identity cards. 
  • Check the Documents: examine the documents to ensure they are genuine. Look for security features like watermarks or holograms. 
  • Retain Copies: Make clear and legible copies of the original documents and keep them securely. Retain these copies for the duration of the employee’s employment and for at least two years after their employment ends. 
  • Record the Date: This demonstrates compliance with the law and ensures that the check was done before the employee started working. 
  • Follow-up Checks: For individuals with time-limited immigration permissions, conduct follow-up checks before their permission to work in the UK expires to maintain compliance. 

Home Office online right-to-work check

  • The Home Office online right to work check can now be conducted for various individuals, if they possess the right type of immigration documentation. The various individuals include those with status under the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS), holders of eVisas, Biometric Residence Cards (BRC), Biometric Residence Permits (BRP), and Frontier Worker Permits (FWP). 

Transition to Digital Documentation: 

  • For individuals with digital immigration status, such as eVisa holders, the online service is the only acceptable method to prove their right to work. Physical BRCs, BRPs, and FWPs can no longer be accepted or used for right to work checks. 

Share Code and Right to Work Details: 

  • To conduct an online right to work check, employers must request that the applicant obtains and provides them with a share code. The employer can then use this share code to view the applicant’s right to work details through the online service. The code is crucial to accurately record and securely retain evidence of the online right to work check, either electronically or in hard copy. 

Right-to-work check using Identity Document Validation Technology (IDVT) via an Identity Service Provider (IDSP) 

Identity Verification for British and Irish Citizens: 

  • Since April 6, 2022, employers have been allowed to utilize new technology to conduct the identity verification aspects of a right to work check for British and Irish citizens. 

Privately Operated Identity Service Providers (IDSPs): 

  • Employers can choose to engage with a privately operated Identity Service Provider that has been approved by the Home Office. These IDSPs offer services to remotely conduct checks using Identity Document Validation Technology (IDVT). 

As the landscape of right to work checks and associated technologies continues to evolve, employers should stay updated with the latest guidance and any further developments from the UK government. This will ensure that the identity verification elements of right to work checks are conducted accurately and in compliance with the relevant regulations. 

For more detailed information, please refer to the official guidance provided by the UK government: 

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