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.



Employers must prevent illegal working in the UK by carrying out document checks on people before employing them to make sure they are allowed to work. Use this guidance 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 illegal-working penalties collection includes all documents for employers on preventing illegal working.

On 16 May 2014, the Home Office made changes to the document checks employers must make. This guidance explains what employers must do.