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: 29 June 2018

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An employer’s guide to right to work checks: 16 August 2017

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An employer’s guide to right to work checks: 12 July 2016

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Details

This guidance explains what employers must do to prevent illegal working in the UK by carrying out document 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
  • whose documents you should check
  • how to carry out checks
  • when to carry out initial checks, follow-up checks and what happens under TUPE
  • what documents are acceptable

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.

The new guidance dated 29 June 2018 has replaced the version dated 16 August 2017. You should still refer to this earlier guidance if the employment of illegal workers occurred between 16 August 2017 and 29 June 2018.

Published 16 May 2014
Last updated 29 June 2018 + show all updates
  1. Attached updated guidance.
  2. Updated guidance.
  3. Updated guidance.
  4. Updated guidance on right to work checks.
  5. Updated guide
  6. Updated right to work document
  7. added link to new online employer checking service form
  8. Updated guidance, 28/07/2014.
  9. First published.