MHA | Right to Work checks in the UK: key requirements

Right to Work checks in the UK: key requirements

Joanna Rose · January 12th 2024 · read

HR Solutions January 24 4

From 22 January 2024 the penalties for employing illegal workers triple to £60,000 per illegal worker. It has never been more important to have robust right to work processes in place.

The Home Office expects high standards, requiring managers, individuals, and recruitment professionals to possess the necessary skills and information for efficient operations and risk minimisation, encompassing financial, commercial, and reputational aspects. It is crucial to update your teams’ understanding of the right-to-work regulations and ensure compliance in your internal processes.

In the United Kingdom, employers are required to conduct Right to Work checks to ensure that their employees have the legal right to work in the country. These checks are mandatory, and failure to comply can result in severe penalties, including fines and imprisonment. Here are the key requirements for Right to Work checks in the UK:

Verification of Identity

Employers must verify the identity of the prospective employee by obtaining original, acceptable documents such as a passport, national ID card, or biometric residence permit.

Checking the Validity of Documents

Employers must ensure that the presented documents are genuine, unaltered, and belong to the individual in question.

Checking the expiry dates on documents is crucial to ensure ongoing eligibility to work.

Establishing the Right to Work

Different types of documents may be provided to establish the right to work, depending on the individual’s immigration status. This could include a visa, residence permit, or proof of settled or pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme.

Categorising Workers

Employers need to determine whether their employees have the right to work in the UK and categorise them accordingly, such as British citizens, European Union (EU) nationals, or non-EU nationals with valid work visas.

Recording and Retaining Documentation

Employers are required to make a clear copy or record of the documents provided by the employee.

This information should be retained throughout the individual’s employment and for a specified period after their employment ends.

Re-Checking for Employees with Time-Limited Permissions

For employees with time-limited permissions to work in the UK, employers must conduct follow-up checks before the expiry of their current permission.

Keeping Up-to-Date with Immigration Rules

Employers should stay informed about changes in immigration rules and adjust their procedures accordingly to maintain compliance.

It’s important for you to follow these guidelines diligently to avoid legal consequences and ensure a workforce that is legally entitled to work in the UK. The specific details of the Right to Work checks may evolve over time, so it’s advisable for you to regularly check for updates from the Home Office or seek legal advice to stay compliant with current regulations.

HR Solutions can support you with auditing how compliant your business is for Right to Work checks, completing Right to Work checks and advising you on Immigration matters for individuals requiring visas to work in the UK.

Contact us Get in touch with our HR Solutions team Contact the team

This insight was previously published in our HR Solutions January 2024 newsletter

Read full newsletter
Share this article
Related tags