The Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Act, 1996 makes it a criminal offence for an employer to employ those who do not have permission to live or work in the UK. It requires all UK employers to make basic document checks on every person they intend to employ. Due to the changes introduces by the UK Government as of 1st January 2021, HR will conduct these checks.
As of 1st January 2021, the UK has introduced new measures for granting residency and the right to work in the UK in light of leaving the European Union. Until 30th June 2021, EEA and Swiss Nationals (including family members and those in a relationships with an EEA/Swiss national) may continue to evidence their right to work in the UK in the same way as prior to January 2021. Please see below.
During the Grace Period (1st January to 30th June 2021) applicants may choose to present their evidence in either format (online or manually). Following this period, all right to work checks will be done via the online system.
Prospective employees will not be able to commence employment until the required documentation has been checked, copied, signed and dated. Offers of employment are subject to evidence that the prospective employee has the right to work in the UK.
Providing evidence via the online service
Those wishing to present their evidence of Settles Status and their right to work in the UK can use the Home Office online service (external website).
Applicants may then either email the link code to firstname.lastname@example.org or generate an email to this same address via the online system. The HR team will the check their right to work in the UK via GOV.UK: View a job applicant's right to work details (external website) and inform the recruiting manager.
Providing evidence via the manual method
Up until the 30th June 2021, EEA and Swiss nationals can demonstrate their right to work in the UK via presenting an acceptable document. This is also applicable to non-EEA family members of EEA nationals and non-EEA Nationals with a Derivative Right of Residence.
The list of acceptable documents outlined here:
Guide: right to work in the UK (PDF, 196KB)
Employing those living outside the EEA or Switzerland
If you are a non-EEA family member of an EEA national, or a non-EEA National with a Derivative Right of Residence, please see the above 2 options for demonstrating your right to work in the UK.
As of 1st January 2021, free movement has ended for the UK and employers must be granted a Sponsor Licence in order to employ any nationals from countries outside the UK’s resident labour market (i.e. applicants needing to apply to work in the UK via the Skilled Worker Route).
If the successful applicant has a time limit on their stay in the UK, repeat checks will be carried out in accordance with the dates within their identification document.
Any offer of employment is subject to evidence that the applicant has permission to work in the UK. Where an applicant has requested an extension to their visa, this does not constitute evidence of right to work in the UK.
Checking a job applicant’s right to work documents
Further guidance on checking a job applicants 'right to work' documents can be found on GOV.UK: Checking a job applicant's right to work (external website)