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Procedure for undertaking right to work checks

Undertaking right to work checks is a three step process as set out on this page.

Please see our quick guide flowchart on the right to work procedure.


Step 1: Obtain the document

Note: For new starters of EU/EEA/Swiss nationals where taking a right to work check from 1 July 2021 onward, you can no longer accept a passport or ID card as evidence. Please see below for the types of documents you can accept instead.

The types of documents that employers can accept as evidence of right to work is governed in law and are set out in two distinct lists:

  • List A contains the range of documents which you may accept for a person who has an permanent and unrestricted right to work in the UK. This includes all UK citizens, EU/EEA and Swiss nationals, and their family members, where granted settled status, and non-EEA nationals holding Indefinite Leave to Remain (also known as settlement) or Right of Abode in the UK. For employees who can prove their right to work by virtue of a document in List A, the University will establish a continuous statutory defence for the duration of that person’s employment. On that basis, we do not have to conduct any further document checks. 
  • List B contains the range of documents which may be accepted for a person who has a temporary/restricted right to work in the UK. This includes all non-UK nationals subject to immigration control who require a visa to work in the UK, or where holding pre-settled status. For employees who can prove their right to work by virtue of a document in List B, the University will establish a time-limited statutory excuse to employ them. On that basis, in order to retain our statutory excuse, the University is required to conduct further checks at the point that time-limit expires (which is usually their visa expiry date). Further details on this process can be found with the Visa expiry guidance.


Step 2: Check the Document

The type of check you can undertake will depend on the person's nationality, as follows:

UK Citizens and Irish Citizens


Where presenting either a passport or a birth certificate as evidence:

  • Original document must be presented.
  • Undertake the check in the presence of the holder.
  • Check that photographs and dates of birth are consistent across documents and with the person’s appearance.
  • Satisfy yourself that the documents are valid and genuine, have not been tampered with and belongs to the holder. The Home Office provides guidance on examining identity documents. For right to work purposes you are only expected to undertake ‘reasonable checks’ on a document. If you are concerned about the validity of any documents presented to you, please contact the HR Compliance Team.
  • Obtain an additional document if the individual provides two documents that have different names, and ask them to explain the reason. The additional document could be a marriage certificate, a divorce decree, a deed poll or statutory declaration.


Non-UK nationals


Proof of right to work for any check undertaken on or after 6 April 2022 (whether new or current employees) cannot be evidenced by an individual's Biometric Residence Permit, Biometric Residence Card or Frontier Worker Permit. 

In place, we can accept either:

  • A check conducted via the Home Office online checking service; or
  • A valid entry vignette, followed by an online check

We have detailed guidance on how to undertake an online right to work check, alongside visual examples of the types of online checks you may see, in this document:



Step 3: Copy the Document

A document can only be copied and verified by a member of staff/TES temp at the UniversityThird parties cannot be used.

For any document, you must copy the following in a format that cannot be altered (for example a PDF):

  • For UK nationals and Irish nationals – Where a passport is presented, please copy the 'bio-data' page of the passport. Front cover not required.
  • For non-UK nationals – download the checklist provided via the online checking service. Or, where accepting a valid entry vignette inside a valid passport, copy the 'bio-data' page of the passport and also take a copy of the entry vignette. In either case, we also require a copy of the person's passport but this does not need to be verified as it is for payroll purposes only.



Where a document is required to be verified (as outlined above), you must provide your signature and print your name and the date and time to confirm that you have seen the original document. You must also include the statement "The date on which this right to work check was made: [DATE and TIME]"


TUPE transfers

Where there is a TUPE transfer into the University from another organsiaion, the receiving department/instituton is required to undertake a right to work check on all transferring staff either before the transfer takes place (where practicable) or up to 60 days after the transfer has taken place. Any right to work check taken in line with this guidance will provide the University with a Statutory Excuse to employ them.