Guidance

Right to work checks: an employer's guide

How to carry out right to work checks, why you need to do them, and which documents you can use.

Documents

An employer's guide to right to work checks: 6 April 2022

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Ukrainian nationals and right to work checks

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You can find the previous version of this guide at the National Archives, along with earlier versions

Details

Because of coronavirus (COVID-19) there are temporary changes to the way you can check documents. Read guidance about the adjusted process, including asking for documents digitally, making checks on a video call, and what to do if someone cannot provide any accepted documents.

This guidance explains what employers must do to prevent illegal working in the UK by carrying out right to work checks on people before employing them to make sure they are allowed to work.

You should use it to find out:

  • what a right to work check is
  • why you need to do right to work checks
  • how to carry out checks
  • when to carry out initial checks, follow-up checks, and what happens under TUPE
  • what documents are acceptable for a manual right to work check

Check if someone can work in the UK using our quick answer tool.

If you’re reasonably satisfied that the worker has an outstanding application with the Home Office that was made before their previous leave expired or has an outstanding appeal against a Home Office decision, you can get a Positive Verification Notice from the Employer Checking Service.

The employer guidance collection includes all documents for employers on preventing illegal working.

Published 16 May 2014
Last updated 27 April 2022 + show all updates
  1. Added accessible version of employer's guide to right to work checks: 6 April 2022 and Ukrainian nationals and right to work checks.

  2. New Ukrainian nationals and right to work checks guide added.

  3. Added new version of right to work checks: an employer's guide, which came into force on 6 April 2022. A summary of the changes can be found in the guide.

  4. Added draft version of guidance which will come into force on 6 April 2022.

  5. Added web version of the employer's guide.

  6. Update on the use of BRP/Cs to prove right to work. Guidance for employers and Identity Service Providers (IDSPs) regarding the use of digital identity verification.

  7. Updated guide to highlight changes for EEA Citizens and non-EEA family members without lawful immigration status after 30 June 2021, and added Annex E describing changes for biometric card holders.

  8. Changes to the way those with outstanding applications to the EUSS evidence their right to work and changes to the lists of acceptable documents: a) removal of duplication from list B, group 1, no.5; b) amendment to list B, group 2, no.2 c) addition at list B, group 2, no.5. Extension to the COVID-19 temporary adjusted right to work checking process.

  9. Guidance updated with changes to the acceptable document list. Amendments also made to the section on ‘Outstanding UK EU Settlement Scheme applications made up to and including 30 June 2021’ and ‘EEA citizens without lawful immigration status after 30 June’.

  10. Guidance updated with changes to the way EEA citizens evidence their right to work.

  11. Updated to provide further guidance for employers on right to work checks for EEA and Swiss nationals during the grace period (1 January to 30 June 2021).

  12. Updated guidance includes information on right to work checks for EEA and Swiss nationals during the grace period (1 January to 30 June 2021).

  13. Because of coronavirus (COVID-19) there are temporary changes to the way you can check documents. Added a link to guidance about the adjusted process.

  14. Updated to add 28 January 2019 edition

  15. Attached updated guidance.

  16. Updated guidance.

  17. Updated guidance.

  18. Updated guidance on right to work checks.

  19. Updated guide

  20. Updated right to work document

  21. added link to new online employer checking service form

  22. Updated guidance, 28/07/2014.

  23. First published.