Right to Work Checks: How to get it right - By Experian!

Recruiting and retaining the right talent will be key to business recovery and growth! With demand for skilled workers predicted to outstrip supply by 2030, the next few years will be crucial for businesses looking to recruit and retain the right talent. The expected global talent shortage is a major challenge in its own right. But it’s also playing out in a world recovering from the social and economic fallout of the Covid-19 pandemic. As we’ve seen during the Covid-19 crisis, some sectors are likely to thrive in the near future, while others struggle to survive. In the pandemic, retail, hospitality, travel and the health service have been particularly hard hit. In the green economy, it will be industries that pose the biggest climate risk, including sectors reliant on fossil fuels, and those slow to adapt to changing regulation and investment. As the world changes, talent acquisition and retention strategies are set to play a big part in companies’ recovery, resilience and growth.

How do you carry out a Right to Work check?

1. Manual Right to Work checks

A manual check involves:

  • Obtaining original versions of one or more acceptable documents from your candidate
  • Checking the validity of each document in the holder’s presence including expiry dates
  • Making and retaining a clear copy and recording the date of the check
  • Ensuring that any data is held securely and appropriately

2. Online Right to Work checks

The Home Office’s Employer Checking Service is for candidates with Application Registration Cards, Certificates of Application and Commonwealth citizens who arrived in the UK before 1988. With your candidate’s permission, you can submit an online form and in around five days, you’ll receive a Positive Verification Notice (PVN) from the Home Office. This will provide you with a statutory excuse against liability for six months.

3. Online share codes

Individuals with Settled Status, Pre-Settled Status or a Biometric Residence Permit or Card (applied for online via the Home Office) can provide you with a share code to check their Right to Work status. This share code is valid for 30 days and you’ll also need the individual’s date of birth.

  • You’ll need to visually check your candidate’s facial likeness against the photograph/s on their online status to make sure it’s them, and note any document expiry dates
  • As with a manual check, you’ll also need to download and retain a clear PDF copy of the online check
  • In other words, you still have to verify the check and candidate to establish a statutory excuse against liability

The gov.uk website has full guidance regarding Right to Work checks for EEA and Swiss nationals during the EU ‘grace period’.


January 3, 2022
Rebecca Griffiths
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