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Employment Screening – All You Need To Know About Right To Work Checks

The demand for skilled workers has been increasing for a long time, and it is predicted to surpass the supply in about a decade if current trends are maintained. The need to recruit and maintain the right kind of talent has become absolutely essential for every business. This talent shortage that we are suffering through has been accelerated due to the Covid-19 pandemic, which has affected the global population economically and socially.

All business sectors and industries have suffered due to the pandemic, but there are many sectors that could make a sharp comeback if the right employment practices are undertaken. In contrast, others might struggle if they don’t adapt. As the world changes, so do talent acquisition and retention practices. One way that enhances the efficiency of these practices is an employee background check, which allows employees to pick the right employees for their businesses. In this blog, we will look at a check that improves these acquisition and retention practices.

Right To Work Check – What Is It?

The concept of a right-to-work check is simple as it verifies documents that give an individual permission to work in the UK, as regulations from the Home Office allow it. As an employer, you need to make sure that any potential candidates that you might be considering from outside of the UK have a right to work within the UK. This check is not optional; it is a requirement, and failing to verify the right to work of a candidate and not having such a right can lead to a fine of up to £20,000. And in some cases, it can also lead to sanctions or your business being potentially closed.

Such a check, if carried out, can be used in the face of any liability claims that might be brought against you, as it means you will not receive any penalties should you (unknowingly) hire an illegal worker.

How Are Right To Work Checks Carried Out?

Manual Right To Work Checks

The first method is a manual check that you can do yourself, though this method is considered time-consuming and outdated. These are the steps that a manual check requires to be carried out.

  • Original versions of documents from the candidate.
  • Verifying the validity of the documents in the holder’s presence includes checking the expiry dates.
  • Obtaining and safely retaining a copy of said original documents with the date recorded.
  • Ensuring the safe containment of the data provided.

Online Right To Work Checks

The second method for checking the right to work is through online verification. This you can do by submitting an online form with the candidate’s permission. After a wait of five working days, you should be provided with a Positive Verification Notice (PVN) that gives you protection against liability claims for six months,

Online Share Codes

Candidates that have statuses like settled or pre-settled have online codes that you can ask for; these are known as online share codes that you can use to check if their right to work status is approved. This code needs to be used within 30 days of obtainment; otherwise, it will expire.

Date of birth and likeness verification is something that you will need to do yourself. And you will also need to verify the expiry dates on all relevant documents. Finally, you will also need to obtain an online PDF copy of this check you did and keep it in a secure place as this will also protect you against any liability claims for six months.

Know the Rules


There is a possibility that you might breach discrimination law should you somehow obstruct the candidate from availing every opportunity to prove their right to work. And they also reserve the right to refuse an online check, in which case you will have to go the manual route to check their right to work status.

Self-service checks

Your applicant tracking system also allows applicants to upload their documents themselves, though you still have to verify the submitted documents fully before moving on with the hiring process for that particular candidate. These documents still need to be checked in the presence of the candidate; otherwise, the check becomes invalid.

Outsourced suppliers

There are companies, such as The Background Checker, that perform these checks for you. All you need to do is send these documents to us, and we will verify on your behalf the right to work of these candidates in the UK. However, the original documents should still be given a final once-over by you. And we also offer other checks such as employment credit checks in the UK so that you are relieved of the burden of this duty.


Background checks for employment minimise the risk of the individual you are hiring causing you issues further down the line. So, contact The Background Checker, and we will get you started with the checks you require and ease the hiring process for your organisation.

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