Right To Work: Checking Documents Checklist

3 Min Read
Right To Work: Checking Documents Checklist

Right to work is an important part of pre employment checks when hiring new employees. You must check that person applying for the job has the right to work in the UK.

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There are government penalties for employing illegal worker if you do not carry out right to work checks.

There are a couple of ways to do this:

  • Document Check: You have a responsibility to check documents and store the proof of your checks
  • Government Online Portal: This tells you if the person has the right to work.

Using the online government gateway requires that the person supplies you with their “Share Code” and date of birth to access information.

This can enlighten you about the types of work they’re allowed to do under their visa and identify how long they have the right to work.

We have put together this useful checklist for Human Resources (HR) checklist to use as part of the recruitment Process for new employees or to help create HR Policies and procedures.

Home office right work checklist – An employer’s guide

Right To Work: Checking Documents Checklist

Original Documents

You must ask to see the original documents.

  • Are the documents are genuine, original and unchanged?
  • Do they belong to the same person who has handed them to you?
  • Could they be tampered with?

Confirm dates of birth are consistent over all documents.


Confirm the dates and the right to work has not expired.


Check photo IDs are the same across all documents. Does the photo look like the applicant?

Type of Work

Is the applicant permitted to do the type of work you are have available?

Time Restriction

Time limitation: Do they have a limit on the number hours that can be worked?Students: Ask for evidence of their study and vacation times.

Remember to copy and retain details of academic term and vacation times for the duration which they will be employed

Name Changes

There are genuine reasons why names on documents can be different.

Ask for supporting documents to support the application. Example: marriage certificate or divorce decree.


Make clear copies of ALL documents with a clear indication of when the images were provided so a date documented

Remember to retain copies securely: electronically or in a hardcopy form.

Passports: Copy page with expiry date, nationality, DOB (date of birth), signature, biometric details and photographs. Also any page containing information indicating entitlement (work visa) to remain in the UK.

Biometric Residence Permit: Copy both sides

Other documents suitable for evidence.

Notes: Make sure the copy is clear enough to read.

Any other documents used must be a complete copy.

Follow Ups

If right to work has a time-limit you’ll need to recheck documents again when due to expire.

Document the date the checks are made and note when next needs to be completed.

Historic Data

Keep copies throughout the persons employment with a clear record of the date the check was carried out.

They must be stored for 2 years after they leave your employment.

Make sure all personal data is securely safely and follow data protection law and GDPR

Acceptable Documents and the employer’s guide to acceptable documents PDF

No Documents Available

What do you do if the person cannot show or produce their documents?  

There are many reasons that documents may not be available, but if you’re satisfied, that is because the documents being used for an outstanding appeal, administrative review, or the application is with the Home Office. Contact the Home Office to run a  check on immigration employment status.

Once the Home Office is happy with the results of their enquiry, they will send you a ‘Positive Verification Notice’ confirming the right to work. This document must be stored safely.

ILR indefinite leave to remain document Checklist

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