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Tel: +44 (0)20 7679 2000
Right to Work Guidance for Managers
For information about the Points Based immigration System (PBS) and Certificates of Sponsorship (CoS) please click here
Checking right to work documents at interview
It is illegal to employ staff who do not have the right to work in the UK. No one must start until they have full entry clearance / further leave to remain from the UK Border Agency.
Under the Recruitment and Selection Policy it is the department's responsibility to check at interview each candidate's right to work and take a copy of this. Checking right to work documentation is also required for As and When Workers and honorary staff working at UCL. For each person the following four steps must be taken when checking documents:
Step 1: Checking original documents for the right to work
Step 2: Checking the details of these documents
Step 3: Making and keeping a copy of the original documents
Step 4: Securely destroying unnecessary personal data
Documents must be checked from either List A (indefinite right to stay / work in the UK) or List B (limited leave to stay in the UK)
For detailed information on List A and List B see the right to work documents departmental guidance
Alternatively you can go to the Business Link interactive tool on their website for advice and guidance, or check appendix E of the UKBA guidance
See separate guidance on Bulgarian and Romanian workers
For each document you must check:
- photographs are consistent with the appearance of the employee (this means you must see them in person); and
- dates of birth listed are consistent across documents and that you are satisfied that these correspond with the appearance of the employee; and
- the expiry dates of any limited leave to enter or remain in the UK have not passed; and
- UK Government endorsements (stamps, visas, etc.) to see if your prospective or current employee is able to do the type of work you are offering; and
- satisfy yourself that the documents are valid and genuine, have not been tampered with and belong to the holder; and
- if your employee gives you two documents which have different names, ask them for a further document to explain the reason for this. The further document could be a marriage certificate, a divorce decree, a deed poll or statutory declaration
HR Operations will double check the documents, particularly focusing on the right to work stamps and expiry dates.
For each document you must
make a copy of the relevant page or pages of the document, in a format which cannot be subsequently altered, for example, a photocopy or scan:
- any page containing the holder’s personal details. In particular, you should copy any page that provides details of nationality, his or her photograph, date of birth, signature, date of expiry or biometric details; and
- any page containing UK Government endorsements indicating that the holder has an entitlement to be in the UK and is entitled to undertake the work in question.
- other documents should be copied in their entirety.
You should then forward to HR Operations the starter details with a signed and dated record of every document you have copied for the successful candidate. By signing and dating the first page of each of the copy documents, this will be taken as confirmation that you have seen and thoroughly checked the originals. Ideally state 'I confirm I have seen the original document' and then sign and date. It is not necessary to sign and date every page of each document.
You should consult HR Consultancy if you have any concerns about the documents you are checking or the validity of any stamps or visa documents
Once the appointment has been made and you have forwarded all appointment details to HR, please securely destroy copies of identification documents that you hold for the other candidates. You must also delete any identification documents for the appointed candidate that you may have emailed and ensure that you empty your deleted items folder. Please see the UCL Secure Data Disposal Guidelines for advice on how to securely destroy electronic data.
There are new requirements to keep documents relating to both the recruitment process as well as the attendance of anyone who has a Certificate of Sponsorship issued, see CoS Keeping Documents.
If someone does not have the right to work before commencing employment they will need to be considered for a Certificate of Sponsorship. Please contact your HR Assistant in your HR Consultancy team for help and support on certificates of sponsorship. Who's my HR contact?
It is imperative that any extensions to CoS are undertaken in a timely manner to ensure continued employment. Contracts will be terminated immediately if permission to work expires, unless the individual can demonstrate they have submitted an application to extend further leave to remain with the UKBA prior to the expiry date and this is in active consideration by UKBA (and HR Consultancy are satisfied this is the case).
Anyone who provides documentation from List B must have their documents checked annually by HR. HR will contact the individual and the DA to remind them of this requirement.
Expiry of Right to Work
Prior to expiry of an individual’s right to work, the HR Department will contact the employee, copied to the DA. Evidence (i.e. copy of application) must be emailed or posted to HR confirming one of the following:
- a request to extend the certificate of sponsorship has been submitted;
- they have submitted an application for extension of a visa that will allow them to continue paid work;
- they have submitted an application for permanent leave to remain; or
- they have been granted permanent leave to remain.
When permanent leave to remain is granted a certified copy of this must be submitted to the HR department.
If none of the above are confirmed, prior to the expiry date of the right to work, the employee’s position will be terminated with immediate effect as it is a criminal offence to employ people without the right to work.
Checking right to work - one-off duty (Form 7 - non UCL employees)
You must check and copy right to work documentation for individuals who are invited to undertake a short-term one-off duty before they perform the work – see steps 2 and 3 above. You are not required to forward the copied documentation to HR; however you must securely store this information in the department and keep this for 12 months for audit purposes.
Checking the Right to Work - Student Visas
Students issued with a visa from July 2011 will be subject to new rules. Students studying in a Higher Education Institution (HEI), at degree level or above, will be permitted to work up to 20 hours pw term time, full time during the University vacation. Students studying at a publicly funded Further Education (FE) Institution, or HEI at below degree level, will be permitted to work up to 10 hours pw term time, full time during the University vacation. No other students are permitted to work.
Some student visas read 'limited leave to remain. No work without permission of the secretary of state.' This is the same wording as people requiring work permits / certificates of sponsorship.
This visa is acceptable without an additional letter from the Home Office for students to work up to 20 hours during term time and full time in holidays as long as we know they are students. For UCL students please confirm in writing that the person is a student at UCL when submitting a copy of the visa. Students who are not studying at UCL will need to provide confirmation from their establishment that they are a student.
HR Policy and Planning
updated January 2013