Eligibility to work in the UK – A Guide for Staff/Candidates

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Eligibility to work in the UK – A Guide for Staff/Candidates

right to work passport

Under immigration laws, it will be unlawful for an employer to recruit, or continue to recruit, an employee who is not legally allowed to work in the UK.

The individual will also commit a criminal offense if they work whilst they are disqualified due to their immigration status.

Before you commence employment, the Company is required to carry out certain checks to ensure you have the legal right to work in the UK.

If you have limited permission to work in the UK, the Company will also ask you to provide further evidence on an ongoing basis of your right to work.

These checks can either be carried out using documentary evidence or through the Home Office’s online Right to Work Checking Service.

A failure to confirm that you have a legal right to work in the UK will result in the Company being unable to offer you employment or terminating your employment.

Documentary right to work checks

  • Where documentary checks are undertaken, employers must see your original documents and are required to make and keep copies of these, alongside recording the date the check was made.
  • Checks should preferably be carried out with your present.
  • Checks will be carried out for all individuals regardless of their background to minimise allegations of unlawful discrimination.
  • Where the documents you present specify you are a student, you will have a limited right to work in the UK during term time. The employer should check and make a copy of your academic term dates.
  • The Home Office provides two lists of documents, List A and List B (see Appendix 1), which employers may accept as proof of right to work in the UK.
  • A document from List A will demonstrate that the holder has a definite right to work in the UK without restriction and should be checked before the start of employment.
  • List B contains documents that demonstrate the holder has a time-limited right to work in the UK and should be checked before the start of employment and at point of expiry.

EU Settlement Scheme

To be able to remain living and working within the UK after the 30th June 2021, EU nationals will be required to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme. Your status under the scheme will depend on your length of residency counted on the 31st December 2020 where:

  • if you have five years’ continuous residency at this date, you can apply for “settled status” which entitles you to remain in the UK permanently; or
  • if you have less than five years’ residency on this date, you can apply for “pre-settled status” which entitled you to remain working in the UK for a further period of five years. You can upgrade pre-settled status to settled status (free of charge) once you meet the five-year continuous residency requirement.

If you already have indefinite leave to remain in the UK, you do not have to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme. However, you can choose to change to settled status without paying a fee or being required to prove you meet the five years’ continuous residency requirement. You will, however, be required to apply for settled status where you have a UK permanent residence document.

The EU Settlement Scheme is now fully open for applications and you can apply to the scheme either online or through a smartphone app. The application must be made by 30th June 2021. A failure to meet this deadline will affect your right to remain living and working within the UK.

You will need various documents as evidence to support your application, such as your National Insurance number or proof of residency.

Further information on the scheme is provided by the Home Office. The EU Settlement Resolution Centre can be contacted on 0300 123 7379 (from inside the UK) or 0203 080 0010 (from outside the UK).

APPENDIX 1
Lists of acceptable documents for right to work checks

List A: Documents which need only be checked before employment starts

  1. A passport showing the holder, or a person named in the passport as the child of the holder, is a British citizen or a citizen of the UK and Colonies having the right of abode in the UK.
  1. A passport or national identity card showing the holder, or a person named in the passport as the child of the holder, is a national of a European Economic Area country* or Switzerland.

(*A Croatian national who wishes to work in the UK may need to obtain sponsorship and an accession worker authorisation document.)

  1. A Registration Certificate or Document Certifying Permanent Residence issued by the Home Office to a national of a European Economic Area country or Switzerland.
  1. A Permanent Residence Card issued by the Home Office to the family member of a national of a European Economic Area country or Switzerland.
  1. A current Biometric Immigration Document (Biometric Residence Permit) issued by the Home Office to the holder indicating that the person named is allowed to stay indefinitely in the UK, or has no time limit on their stay in the UK.
  1. A current passport endorsed to show that the holder is exempt from immigration control, is allowed to stay indefinitely in the UK, has the right of abode in the UK, or has no time limit on their stay in the UK.
  1. A current Immigration Status Document issued by the Home Office to the holder with an endorsement indicating that the named person is allowed to stay indefinitely in the UK or has no time limit on their stay in the UK, together with an official document giving the person’s permanent National Insurance number and their name issued by a Government agency or a previous employer.
  1. A birth or adoption certificate issued in the UK, together with an official document giving the person’s permanent National Insurance number and their name issued by a Government agency or a previous employer.
  1. A birth or adoption certificate issued in the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man or Ireland, together with an official document giving the person’s permanent National Insurance number and their name issued by a Government agency or a previous employer.
  1. A certificate of registration or naturalisation as a British citizen, together with an official document giving the person’s permanent National Insurance number and their name issued by a government agency or a previous employer

List B – Time limited right to work in the UK

Group 1: Documents which must be checked before employment starts and at the expiry date

  1. A current passport endorsed to show that the holder is allowed to stay in the UK and is currently allowed to do the type of work in question.
  1. A current Biometric Immigration Document (Biometric Residence Permit) issued by the Home Office to the holder which indicates that the named person can currently stay in the UK and is allowed to do the work in question.
  1. A current Residence Card (including an Accession Residence Card or a Derivative

Residence Card) issued by the Home Office to a non-European Economic Area national who is a family member of a national of a European Economic Area country or Switzerland or who has a derivative right of residence.

  1. A current Immigration Status Document containing a photograph issued by the Home Office to the holder with a valid endorsement indicating that the named person may stay in the UK, and is allowed to do the type of work in question, together with an official document giving the person’s permanent National Insurance number and their name issued by a Government agency or a previous employer.

Group 2: Documents which must be checked within the six-month time limit of the Positive Verification Notice

  1. A Certificate of Application issued by the Home Office under regulation 18(3) or 20(2) of the Immigration (European Economic Area) Regulations 2006, to a family member of a national of a European Economic Area country or Switzerland stating that the holder is permitted to take employment which is less than six months old together with a Positive Verification Notice from the Home Office Employer Checking Service.
  1. An Application Registration Card issued by the Home Office stating that the holder is permitted to take the employment in question, together with a Positive Verification Notice from the Home Office Employer Checking Service.

3.A Positive Verification Notice issued by the Home Office Employer Checking Service to the employer or prospective employer, which indicates that the named person may stay in the UK and is permitted to do the work in question.

Online right to work checks
Where your immigration status means their right to work can be checked online, employers must receive a response confirming you can undertake the work in question before employing you or continuing to employ you.

In order to submit an online check, employers will need to input the following information:

  • your date of birth
  • the share code as provided by the employee portal of the online Right to Work Checking service.

The right to work check should be recorded in an uneditable format.

Where an online check is carried out for a student who will be employed during the term time, the employer should check and make a copy of their academic term dates.

Positive Verification Notices

In certain circumstances employers are required to obtain a Positive Verification Notice from the Home Office Employer Checking Service to confirm that the named person is allowed to carry out the type of work in question.  This will be required if you are only able to produce:

  • a Certificate of Application, less than 6 months old, indicating that the holder is permitted to undertake the work in question or
  • an Application Registration Card indicating that the holder is permitted to undertake the work in question or
  • no acceptable documents can be produced because the person has an outstanding application with the Home Office or appeal/administrative review against the Home Office.
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