Maintaining Compliance with Right to Work Checks

In the dynamic landscape of employment and immigration, ensuring compliance with legal requirements is crucial for both employers and employees. In the UK, one such imperative aspect is Right to Work (RTW) checks. These checks are designed to confirm the eligibility of individuals to work in the UK. 

They help to prevent illegal employment and safeguard the job market. In this blog, we will delve into the essentials of maintaining compliance with Right to Work checks for UK employers and employees.

Maintaining Compliance with Right to Work Checks

Understanding Right to Work Checks

Right to Work checks are a statutory requirement for employers in the UK. The Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Act 2006 sets out the legal framework for these checks. 

The primary objective is to confirm that individuals have the legal right to work in the country. This applies to all employees, regardless of their nationality.

Types of Right to Work Check

Depending on employees’ nationality, on of the following types of right to work check can apply:

Manual right to work check which is conducted in person 

This type of check is used for the UK and Irish nationals. It is also used for those employees whose right to work cannot be checked online using share code. In order to conduct manual right to work checks, employees are requested to provide original documents from List A or B of acceptable documents

List A refers to permanent right to work in the UK and List B refers to limited right to work. Manual right to work check includes verifying employee’s identity vis-a-vis his/her original document and retaining clear copies of the provided documents. 

It is important to record the date when the check has been completed as the right to work check should be done before the employee commences employment or on the first day of employment. 

Employers are obliged to keep the evidence of right to work checked for 2 years after the employee stops working for them.

Online right to work check through share code

This type of right to work check is used for migrant workers including those with leave under EU Settlement Scheme. In order to complete the digital right to work check, employers should use the share code provided by employees. 

Employers should input the share code and the employee’s date of birth in the online portal. After receiving the confirmation of an employee’s right to work, the employer should store this information securely.

Employer checking service right to work check 

This service is used if the employee is currently in the UK with a Section 3C leave (i.e. he/she made an application for leave to remain in the UK before the expiry of their current leave but have not received a decision yet). 

Employers need to request a positive verification notice (PVN) from Employers Checking Service by submitting the details of their business, employee’s Home Office reference number, personal details and job details. 

The response from ECS should be retained by the employer.

Identity service provider right to work check 

This is a way of outsourcing the right to work check. Employers can instruct a certified Identity Service Provide to complete a digital right to work check for employees. 

Please note that where the right to work check is done by the third party, the responsibility would still rest with the employer and the employer is obliged to store the proof of the employee’s right to work.

Employers must ensure that they complete follow-up checks for employees with time-limited permission to work. Employers must keep track of the expiration dates and conduct timely follow-up checks to maintain compliance.

Challenges and Common Pitfalls

Now let’s have a look into the most common challenges and common pitfalls;

Lack of Training:

  • Failure to adequately train staff responsible for Right to Work checks can lead to errors and non-compliance.
  • Regular training sessions should be conducted to keep staff informed about the latest regulations and procedures.

Failure to Keep Records:

  • Incomplete or inaccurate record-keeping is a common pitfall.
  • Employers should establish a robust system for storing and managing Right to Work records.

Ignoring Follow-up Checks:

  • Employers may unintentionally overlook the need for follow-up checks for employees with time-limited permissions.
  • Implementing a system to track expiration dates and automate reminders can address this issue.


Maintaining compliance with Right to Work checks is not only a legal obligation but also a fundamental step in promoting a fair and inclusive work environment. By understanding the key components, addressing common pitfalls, and implementing best practices, employers in the UK can navigate the complexities of immigration regulations and contribute to a robust and lawful employment ecosystem. 

At WestBridge, we can help you to stay compliant with your Right to Work checks by:

  • conducting trainings for your responsible staff
  • reviewing your files and making recommendations for improvement
  • Conducting mock interviews for your responsible staff if you are being audited by the Home Office.

Our immigration specialists with over 10 years of experience will advise you on the best ways of maintaining compliance with Right to Work Check regulations.

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