How to Check an Employee’s Right To Work Documents

July 8, 2015

How to Check an Employee’s Right To Work Documents

Here in the UK, you are required by law to check that a person has the right to work in the country before you employ them. Employing a person who doesn’t have the right to work in the UK could result in a civil penalty for your business – so when checking a person’s Right To Work documents, you’ll want to be sure you’re following the right procedure.

According to official government information, here are the three main things to remember when you check a person’s right to work in the UK:

1. Documents must be original. You will need to see the original evidence – i.e. you cannot accept photocopies. If a person does not have their original documents (for example because they are still being processed) then you might be able to contact the Home Office for confirmation of their right to work in the UK.

2. Person must be present. When you check the documents, the person who owns them needs to be present. There are a few reasons for this – for example, you’ll need to check that the person’s photograph is a genuine likeness, which is difficult to do when the person isn’t there!

3. You must keep a copy on file. The copy you keep should be photocopied ideally. If you want to keep a digital record of the information to store on your HR system, then a good idea is to scan the document – the copy must be exact, so simply typing the relevant information into a text file or spreadsheet is not enough.

For more detail on how to check a person’s right to work in the UK, visit the Home Office’s information page here.

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