Right to work

Acceptable documents to prove the right to work:

It is a criminal offence to employ someone not entitled work in the United Kingdom. Employers have a defence if they check and copy the necessary documents of new employees.

Depending on the circumstances, potential employees must produce one or two documents.
Any one of the following singe documents is acceptable –

  • A passport showing that the holder is a British citizen, or has a right of abode in the United Kingdom.

  • A passport or identity card showing that the holder is a national of one of the following countries: Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland,  France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.

  • A residence permit issued by the United Kingdom to a national from one of the countries listed above.

  • A passport or other document issued by the Home Office which has an endorsement stating that the holder has a current right of residence in the United Kingdom as the family member of a national from one of the countries listed above.

  • A passport or other travel document endorsed to show that the holder can stay indefinitely in the United Kingdom, or has no time limit on their stay.

  • A passport or other travel document endorsed to show that the holder can stay in the United Kingdom; and that this endorsement allows the holder to do the type of work being offered if they do not have a work permit.

  • An Application Registration Card issued by the Home Office to an asylum seeker stating that the holder is permitted to take employment.

If one of these documents cannot be produced then one of two combinations of documents must be produced.

The first combination is a document giving the person’s permanent National Insurance Number and name (a P45, P60, National Insurance card, or a letter from a Government agency) together with one of –

  • A full birth certificate issued in the United Kingdom, which includes the names of the holder’s parents.

  • A birth certificate issued in the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man or Ireland.

  • A certificate of registration or naturalisation stating that the holder is a British citizen.

  • A letter issued by the Home Office which indicates that the person named in it can stay indefinitely in the United Kingdom, or has no time limit on their stay.

  • An Immigration Status Document issued by the Home Office with an endorsement indicating that the person named in it can stay indefinitely in the United Kingdom, or has no time limit on their stay.

  • A letter issued by the Home Office which indicates that the person named in it can stay in the United Kingdom, and that this allows them to do the type of work being offered.

  • An Immigration Status Document issued by the Home Office with an endorsement indicating that the person named in it can stay in the United Kingdom, and that this allows them to do the type of work being offered.

  • An Identification card issued by the Home Office indicating that the person named/shown on it can stay in the United Kingdom, and that they are entitled to do the type of work being offered.

The second combination is a work permit or other approval to take employment that has been issued by Work Permits UK along with one of –

  • A passport or other travel document endorsed to show that the holder is able to stay in the United Kingdom and can take the work permit employment in question.

  • A letter issued by the Home Office confirming that the person named in it is able to stay in the United Kingdom.

Under the new changes to the law an employer must satisfy himself that the potential employee is the rightful holder of any of the documents  and that these documents should also allow them to do the type of work being offered.
The employer must carry out the following steps when checking all of the documents presented by a potential employee -

  • Check any photographs, where available, to ensure that they are consistent with the appearance of the potential employee.

  • Check the dates of birth listed to be satisfied these are consistent with the appearance of the potential employee.

  • Check that the expiry dates have not passed.

  • Check any United Kingdom Government stamps or endorsements to see if the potential employee is able to do the type of work being offered.

The employer must make a photocopy or a scan of the following parts of all documents –

  • The front cover and all of the pages which give the potential employee’s personal details, in particular the page with the photograph and the page which shows his or her signature.

  • Any page containing a United Kingdom Government stamp or endorsement which allows the potential employee to do the type of work being offered.