How to Conduct a Right to Work Check in the UK – A comprehensive Guide

Right to Work

Applying for employment can be an ordeal. There are many different stages to go through for the completion of the process. This includes searching for the right vacancies, submitting a CV, and proving yourself as a worthy candidate. However, when it comes to job searching abroad, you must make certain of your eligibility. This refers to as the right to work.

Our guide specifically focuses on the right to work which applies in UK. We will first get into details of this legal requirement. Following that will be an overview of how employers check for it, so both sides can understand the procedure. Read ahead to know all about this essential process when applying for a job in UK.

The Right to Work

For anyone who wishes to find employment in the UK the Right to Work is lawfully required. Other countries also have equivalents of this legality. In case you have been born in the UK or have citizenship, then the Right to Work will automatically apply.

How to acquire the Right to Work

You will need a visa and a work permit to have a job in the UK. Therefore, these documents are the first things you need to possess. A work permit is applied on your behalf by your employer-to-be. It length depends on the nature and longevity of your project.

The period can also be extended or renewed after its expiration date. This part is much more convenient then having the permit made in the first place. Once you have secured a work permit, it cements your right to work in the country.

How can employers check applicants’ Right to Work?

It is important to conduct a proper Right to Work for all employers when hiring in the UK. At executive CV services UK, we have seen many clients struggle through this rigorous procedure. Which is why we have come up with this guide meant for both employers and employees. Both parties involved can be protected from immigration issues and other related discrepancies.

The Right to Work is also an indiscriminatory process which all employees must be subjected to. Any race, ethnicity, or nationality will not be singled out or else it will be counted as illegal discrimination. Due to Covid-19 the UK government allowed a temporary flexibility for checking documents remotely. This began in March 2020 and is expected to end on 5th of April 2022.

The copies of right to work documents can be submitted digitally by the employees. During the check the candidate will stay connected through a live video session as part of the process. It will be the responsibility of the employers to mention “adjusted check undertaken on (date) due to COVID-19”. This way employers can defend against any allegations of illegal work by showing documents fully abiding to the new rules.

There are basically three important steps to carry out a complete check:

  1. Obtain

Till April 2022 employers can avail the pandemic concession for conducting online document checks. It is strongly advised to possess a copy of every potential employees’ Right to Work before they begin. It can serve as a preventive measure if the candidate needs a work permit.

Verifying the status of the prospective employee enables employers to start the sponsorship earlier on. If the work permit is limited, then a follow-up checking should also be conducted before its expiration.

  1. Check

The provided documents must be thoroughly checked by employers. Concessions can be made if the document shows signs of expert fraud. But mainly it’s the employer’s duty to detect illegal paperwork and prevent unlawful immigration. They must verify the documents’ authenticity and if they truly belong to the candidate.

Photographs and date of births are of prime importance when checking personal details. Face to face or live video session can be used as supporting evidence with the documents. Name and other information related to the employee must remain consistent throughout all documents. Expiry dates are also essential to confirm the validity any permits. Additionally, any particular job restrictions on the person should also be considered. Make certain they are allowed to hold your offered position before hiring.

  1. Retain

Keeping accurate records is critical for the compliance of Right to Work. Copies of the document should be made and retained, alongside recording the checking date. All copies must be clear and easy to read. They must also be in the form of a photocopy or pdf scan to prevent any editing.

The entire contents of the Right to Work document must be copied except for the candidate’s passports. According to law the copies must be retained for the whole duration of the employee’s time with the organization. Not only that, but they should also be kept two years more after the employee has left the position.

According to the experts from CV Writings UK, all employers must ensure that they are complying with the laws of data protection during this process. Details about this legal aspect should be given in a privacy and data protection policy accessible to the candidate.


There can be serious penalties for both employers and employees in case of non-compliance to the Right to Work procedure. To avoid scrutiny from the authorities and damaging repercussions all recruitment decisions must be based on these documents. Penalties can include criminal prosecution, harmed reputation, ceasing of business operations, heavy fines and more. By following our guidelines, you can avoid facing such predicaments in both recruitment and employment.

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