Managers' right to work checking process

A right to work check is a process managed by the University to confirm that a worker is eligible to work in the UK. This check should be conducted for all employees and casual workers before they start work, by checking and copying their original documents in person (such as a current passport, identity card, biometric residence permit).

It is important to remember that some visas do not permit employment and there are restrictions on how many hours Tier 4 students can work. No one should be permitted to work beyond the expiry date of a time limited visa without further checks taking place.

Document checks should be undertaken for ALL new employees, irrespective of nationality, in accordance with the Equality Act and the University’s equality and diversity standards.

If these checks are not conducted before the first day of employment, the University will be at risk of employing workers illegally and in breach of the Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Act 2006.

The Home Office closely monitors our compliance with these regulations and can conduct an audit at any time. The consequences of breaching the Act and illegally employing workers are significant. In addition to significant financial penalties, the Home Office has the power to down-grade our sponsor license (meaning the University would be unable to issue certificates of sponsorship to new Tier 2 or Tier 5 workers) and we would also be at risk of losing our license entirely (in which case our sponsored visa holders would be expelled from the University and the UK). The penalties incurred by failing to comply with Home Office legislation would have a severe impact on our employees and our reputation as an employer.

The implications of non-compliance are substantial and the University will consider taking disciplinary action against any manager who allows an employee or casual worker to start work without evidence of their right to work.

Obtain the original documents from the individual:

  • Check that the individual has provided an acceptable document. The list of acceptable documents to confirm right to work can be found here;
  • Check that you have clear photocopies of each of the original documents presented, and that both sides of any cards or permits have been taken;
  • Check that the original documents are genuine and that they represent the individual presenting them;
  • Assure the individual that all documents retained will be stored securely;
  • Use the stamp provided or write the following on each photocopy: “I certify that this is a true copy of the original document”
  • You must then print your name, sign and date all photocopied pages.
  • Email a scanned copy of the photocopied pages to HR Services, and send the original copies in the post.

All candidates invited for interview will be instructed to bring original and photocopy evidence of their right to work in the UK. Recruiting managers will be responsible for checking and collecting this paperwork for all candidates. Further information is available here.

If a candidate does not bring this evidence to the interview, they must be advised that they cannot work for the University until their right to work has been confirmed.

This evidence being checked and collected at interview stage should be the standard which Colleges and Services aim for in all cases.

All contracts are offered subject to the University receiving evidence on the individual’s the right to work in the UK (which meets the requirements of the Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Act 2006) before they start work.

Where it is not possible to collect verified copies of an individual’s right to work at interview (for instance, if the candidate does not bring satisfactory documents, is appointed without an interview or is not interviewed in person), HR Services will make arrangements to obtain the evidence prior to their start date.

It will be made clear to the individual that their employment will not start until we have verified their right to work.

HR Services will update the line manager on the progress of these checks and may ask for support in chasing the individual for the relevant documents.

Where a new employee has still not provided evidence of their right to work a week before their start date, HR Services will contact the line manager to confirm the process for collecting this evidence on their first day.

The line manager should ensure that arrangements have been made to collect the new joiner’s right to work as soon as they arrive. These documents must be verified and sent to HR Services immediately. Please note that new joiners will not be paid and must not be given access to their IT systems until the right to work check has been confirmed with HR Services.

In instances where there is an exceptional reason that we cannot meet the new joiner on their first day (e.g. they are working remotely, or they are working outside of normal office hours), HR Services will work with you to confirm alternative arrangements for collecting the right to work documents. 

The line manager should ensure that arrangements have been made to collect the new joiner’s right to work as soon as they arrive. If the new joiner fails to provide valid documents on their first day, the line manager (or a delegate) must ask them to leave work and they will not start their employment. The line manager should inform HR Services immediately, and we will make arrangements to confirm a new start date or withdraw the offer.

It is essential that managers comply with the requirement to send a new employee home on their first day if they have not provided satisfactory evidence of their right to work. The University will consider taking disciplinary action against any manager who allows an employee or casual worker to start work without this evidence.

Yes, all casual and temporary workers must also provide evidence of their right to work before they start work for the University.

The line manager is responsible for ensuring these checks are made and submitted to the Claims Team in HR Services before any work is allocated or commenced. The line manager can confirm the right to work status of any casual worker by contacting the HR Services team.

If a casual worker has not provided their right to work, they will be unable to submit a claim through the eClaims system and will not be paid for any work they have done. Retrospective claims will not be permitted: any work they may have done prior to evidence of right to work being presented will be treated as voluntary.

The University will consider withdrawing future offers of casual work to casual workers who fail to comply with this requirement.