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Eligibility to Work in the UK

The Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Act 2006 requires all employers to make basic document checks on every person they intend to employ. Employers who employ illegal workers are liable to significant financial penalties (and the attendant court case and negative publicity).

By making these checks the University can be sure that it will not break the law by employing illegal workers and only employs people who are legally permitted to work in the UK.

The population of the United Kingdom contains a range of ethnic groups and there are also a wide range of people from outside the UK who are eligible to work here. It is therefore important to remember that these simple checks need to be carried out for all people that the University intends to employ, regardless of their race, ethnicity or nationality, to avoid any potential discrimination.

These checks are now routine for all UK employers. The University's current vacancies web site and the further details about each vacancy highlight that satisfactory documentary proof of eligibility to work in the UK will be required before we employ anyone.

Who will be responsible for carrying out the checks?

For the majority of vacancies, Personnel will ensure that the individual who is to be offered an appointment provides the required documentation, and the checks will be carried out centrally by Personnel.

The exception to this is for those offered short-term/ casual /hourly paid or part-time teaching contracts as checks will need to be carried out locally, following the procedure outlined in section "What do the checks involve".  This exception is based upon the way Departments or Schools make these appointments prior to informing Personnel and Payroll.

What about people who are offered short-term/casual, part- time teaching or other temporary employment?

Anyone directly employed by the University is legally required to have a check carried out. This would include anyone employed on an open ended/ permanent or fixed term contract but also those employed on short-term/ casual/hourly paid or part-time teaching contracts. Read further information about this process.

In the case of temporary workers engaged through an employment agency, the agency is the employer and is therefore responsible for carrying out the eligibility checks.

What do the checks involve?

Step 1

You will need to request sight of original documentation verifying that the individual is entitled to work in the UK and undertake the work in question, before the person starts work for Hope.

Adjusted checks are in place until 30 September 2022. Information on adjusted checks can be found on the government website

You can:

Where possible, check the documents away from the individual concerned so that you can have time and space to make a thorough check. Your prospective employee (or existing employee if you are carrying out repeat checks) should provide documentation in line with the requirements outlined in the Right to Work checklist below. 

Right to Work Checklist - List A and B

List A documents show that the holder is either not subject to immigration control or has no restrictions on their stay in the UK. List B documents demonstrate that the person has been granted leave to enter or remain in the UK for a limited period of time. If an individual provides documents from List B you must also carry out follow-up checks at in line with requirements outlined on the guidance.

The Home office has also updated guidance on the way in which Biometric Residence Card (BRC), Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) and Frontier Worker (FWP) holders evidence their right to work. From 6 April 2022, BRC, BRP and FWP holders can evidence their right to work using the Home Office online service only, presentation of a physical document will no longer be acceptable. This means from 6 April we must use the online checking service to check anyone who holds one of the above-mentioned documents (BRC, BRP and FWP). Prior to the check, the applicant should provide you with a share code and their date of birth. You must have the applicant's permission before conducting the check. Once input the service will produce a downloadable PDF document, you should check the picture on this the same way we check a physical document, this can be done in person or via video call (whilst the adjusted checks are in place). The online checking service can be accessed using the link below:

Online Checking Service 

Step 2

You now need to take reasonable steps to satisfy yourself that the documents presented to you are valid, and appropriate for providing evidence that the person is entitled to work in the UK, this is achieved by performing right to work checks. You should also confirm that the person is the rightful holder of the documents. 

To establish this you need to do the following: 

  • Satisfy yourself that the documents are valid and genuine, have not been tampered with and belong to the holder.
  • Ensure that where required the appropriate UK Government endorsement (e.g. passport stamp or other official document) is present and confirms that the person is able to do the type of work you are offering.
  • Check that any leave to remain or work in the UK is still valid and has not reached its date of expiry.
  • Check that any passport is still valid and has not reached its expiry date.
  • Check any photographs on the document(s) and the date of birth stated to ensure that they are consistent with the appearance of the person (if you have not seen the person face-to-face then you need to check with someone who has).
  • Check that information (e.g. name, date of birth) is consistent across documents if viewing more than one. If you are presented with two documents which have different names, ask for a further document to explain the reason for this. The further document could be a marriage certificate, a divorce decree, a deed poll document or statutory declaration.

Please contact the Recuitment manager if you require any assistance. 

Step 3

Finally, if checking an orignial document you need to make a copy of the relevant page or pages of the document(s), in a format which cannot be subsequently altered, for example a photocopy or scan. In the case of a passport or other travel document, the following parts must be photocopied or scanned:

  • The front cover and any page containing the holder’s personal details. In particular, you should copy any page that provides details of nationality, his or her photograph, date of birth, signature, date of expiry or biometric details.
  • Any page containing a UK Government endorsement (e.g. passport stamp or other official document) indicating that the holder has an entitlement to be in the UK and is entitled to undertake the work you are offering.

Other documents should be copied in their entirety.

If conducting an online check the document should be downloaded in PDF format. This document will inlclude the name of the perosn who has conducted the check, the date the check was undertaken and a re-check date (if applicable). 

Copies of documents for the successful candidate should be sent to Personnel with the payroll form. They will then be kept on the individual's personal file for the duration of the person’s employment and for a further two years after they stop working for Hope, as proof that the University has met its legal obligation to check the eligibility of all new employees.

The copies of documents for unsuccessful candidates should be returned to the Personnel Department with the other interview/ recruitment paperwork at the end of the process.

Further information can be found on the UKVI website.

What do I do if the individual is on a Skilled Worker VISA in another organisation? 

If the individual is on a Skilled Worker VISA in another organisation and this is their second job, additional checks must be made to ensure the employment will not breach the indviduals current sponsorship requirements. Please seek the advice from the Recrtuiment Manager if you are seeking to employ an individual on a Skilled Worker Visa. 

What do I do if I establish that the person is not eligible to work in the UK?

If you have carried out the checks outlined above and establish that the person is not entitled to work in the UK; the person’s permission to stay in the UK does not allow them to undertake the work in question; or the person is not the rightful holder of the document presented, then the offer of employment will need to be withdrawn.

If this situation occurs, it must be reported immediately to Personnel to establish the way forward. If the individual is using false or forged documents then this will include reporting the situation to the UKVI Employers Helpline (0300 123 4699).

What about those people who are employed from outside the UK?

If the individual is not a national of the UK or Ireland you need to establish their right to work in the UK.  You must ensure that you check the relevant document from List A and List B of acceptable documents. 

Right to Work Checklist - List A and B

For further information on routes available please see:

Recruting individuals from outside of the UK 

If you require further advice and guidance on this procedure please contact the Recrutiment Manager in Personnel. 

Sponsoring Migrant Workers

The relevant link to the UKVI website titled ‘Sponsoring Migrant Workers’ outlines Hope’s responsibilities in terms of:

Area 1 – Monitoring immigration status and preventing illegal employment

Area 2 – Monitoring migrant contact details

Area 3 – Record keeping

Area 4 – Migrant tracking and monitoring

Area 5 – Professional accreditation and registration