Right to Work in the UK

This section explains the document checks you should carry out to find out if a  person has both the right to work in the UK and the right to carry out the type  of working you are offering. This is a straightforward 3 step process that should form part of your recruitment and employment practices. This section also explains how to examine the documents, and how and when you should repeat these checks for people who have time limits  on their right to work. By carrying out these checks you will ensure that you only employ people who  are legally allowed to work for you, and you will also h ave an excuse against  payment of a civil penalty if we find you are employing an illegal worker.

The 3 step process

There are 3 basic steps to conducting a right to work check.

Remember three key words:

  1. Obtain
  2. Check
  3. Copy

You will not have a statutory excuse


  • you cannot provide a record of having conducted the document checks before recruitment; or
  • during the employment in the case of repeat checks required on workers with a time limited immigration status; or
  • you have accepted a document which clearly does not belong to the holder; or
  • you have conducted a check and it is reasonably apparent that the document is false; or
  • you have accepted a document which clearly shows that the person does not have permission to work in the UK and, or carry out the type of work you are offering.

When given false documents

If you are  given a false document you will only be required to pay a civil penalty if it is reasonably apparent that it is false. The Home Office considers the falseness to be reasonably apparent if an individual, who is untrained in the  identification of false documents, examining it carefully, but briefly, and without the use of technological aids, could reasonably be expected to realise that the  document in question is not genuine. Equally, where a person presents a document and it is reasonably apparent that the person presenting the document is not the person referred to in that document, even if the document itself is genuine they you may be liable to prosecution for knowingly employing an illegal worker. You will not have an excuse against payment if you knew that the document, or documents, were false or did not rightfully belong to the holder. If someone gives you a false document or a genuine document that does not belong to them, then you should report the individual Home Office.

When a person does not have the right to work in the UK

 If you have carried out these document checks and Found that the person you are looking to employ is not allowed to work, then you are allowed to refuse employment to them. It is up to the person seeking employment to prove to you that they have the right to do the work you are offering.

If you are in doubt if you have carried the correct procedure and in order to justify or save yourself from committing a criminal act Imperial Visas can assist you in checking the documents for the foreign workers that you are employing to ensure that the individual concerned is entitled to work in the UK. We will cross check the individual’s details with the Home Office and will give you a written response for your assurance.