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Eligibility to Work in the UK and Responsibilities for Hope Managers

Why do we need to check eligibility to work in the UK?

The Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Act 2006 requires all employers to make basic document checks on every person they intend to employ. Employers who employ illegal workers are liable to significant financial penalties (and the attendant court case and negative publicity). By making these checks the University can be sure that it will not break the law by employing illegal workers and only employs people who are legally permitted to work in the UK.

The population of the United Kingdom contains a range of ethnic groups and there are also a wide range of people from outside the UK who are eligible to work here. It is therefore important to remember that these simple checks need to be carried out for all people that the University intends to employ, regardless of their race, ethnicity or nationality, to avoid any potential discrimination.

These checks are now routine for all UK employers. The University's current vacancies web site and the further details about each vacancy highlight that satisfactory documentary proof of eligibility to work in the UK will be required before we employ anyone.

Who will be responsible for carrying out the checks?

For the majority of vacancies, Personnel will ensure that the individual who is to be offered an appointment provides the required documentation, and the checks will be carried out centrally by Personnel.

The exception to this is for those offered short-term/ casual /hourly paid or part-time teaching contracts as checks will need to be carried out locally, following the procedure outlined in section What do the checks involve?   This exception is based upon the way Faculties and Departments make these appointments prior to informing Personnel and Payroll.

What about people who are offered short-term/casual, part- time teaching or other temporary employment?

Anyone directly employed by the University is legally required to have a check carried out. This would include anyone employed on an open ended/ permanent or fixed term contract but also those employed on short-term/ casual/hourly paid or part-time teaching contracts. Further information in relation to this process can be found by clicking this link

In the case of temporary workers engaged through an employment agency, the agency is the employer and is therefore responsible for carrying out the eligibility checks.

What do the Faculty/Department checks involve?

Step 1

You will need to request sight of original documentation verifying that the individual is entitled to work in the UK and undertake the work in question, before the person starts work for Hope. Where possible, check the documents away from the individual concerned so that you can have time and space to make a thorough check. Your prospective employee (or existing employee if you are carrying out repeat checks) should provide either one of the single documents, or two of the documents in the specified combinations given, from List A, or one of the single documents, or two of the documents in the specified combinations given, from List B on Eligibility to Work in the UK

List A documents show that the holder is either not subject to immigration control or has no restrictions on their stay in the UK. List B documents demonstrate that the person has been granted leave to enter or remain in the UK for a limited period of time. If an individual provides documents from List B you must also carry out follow-up checks at least once every 12 months and record the date on which the check was made.

Step 2

You now need to take reasonable steps to satisfy yourself that the documents presented to you are valid, and appropriate for providing evidence that the person is entitled to work in the UK, this is achieved by performing right to work checks. You should also confirm that the person is the rightful holder of the documents. 

To establish this you need to do the following: 

  • Satisfy yourself that the documents are valid and genuine, have not been tampered with and belong to the holder.
  • Ensure that where required the appropriate UK Government endorsement (e.g. passport stamp or other official document) is present and confirms that the person is able to do the type of work you are offering.
  • Check that any leave to remain or work in the UK is still valid and has not reached its date of expiry.
  • Check that any passport is still valid and has not reached its expiry date.
  • Check any photographs on the document(s) and the date of birth stated to ensure that they are consistent with the appearance of the person (if you have not seen the person face-to-face then you need to check with someone who has).
  • Check that information (e.g. name, date of birth) is consistent across documents if viewing more than one. If you are presented with two documents which have different names, ask for a further document to explain the reason for this. The further document could be a marriage certificate, a divorce decree, a deed poll document or statutory declaration.

If you have any queries about whether a document meets the requirements you can contact the UKVI Employers Helpline on 0300 123 4699 or utilise their Employer’s Checking Service on the UKVI website. Please contact your HR manager if you require any assistance. 

Step 3

Finally, you need to make a copy of the relevant page or pages of the document(s), in a format which cannot be subsequently altered, for example a photocopy or scan. In the case of a passport or other travel document, the following parts must be photocopied or scanned:

  • The front cover and 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.
  • Any page containing a UK Government endorsement (e.g. passport stamp or other official document) indicating that the holder has an entitlement to be in the UK and is entitled to undertake the work you are offering.

Other documents should be copied in their entirety.

Copies of documents for the successful candidate should be sent to Personnel with the payroll form. They will then be kept on the individual's personal file for the duration of the person’s employment and for a further two years after they stop working for Hope, as proof that the University has met its legal obligation to check the eligibility of all new employees.

The copies of documents for unsuccessful candidates should be returned to the Personnel Department with the other interview/ recruitment paperwork at the end of the process.

Further information can be found on the UKVI website.

What do I do if I establish that the person is not eligible to work in the UK?

If you have carried out the checks outlined above and establish that the person is not entitled to work in the UK; the person’s permission to stay in the UK does not allow them to undertake the work in question; or the person is not the rightful holder of the document presented, then the offer of employment will need to be withdrawn.

If this situation occurs, it must be reported immediately to Personnel to establish the way forward. If the individual is using false or forged documents then this will include reporting the situation to the UKVI Employers Helpline (0300 123 4699).

The checks are relatively straightforward and three steps are involved.

What about those people who are employed from outside the UK/ European Economic Area?

The points-based system (PBS) is a cornerstone of the Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Act 2006 which also stipulates that employers have a legal responsibility to prevent illegal migrant working in the UK. It is aimed at enabling employers to recruit individuals from outside the EEA to fill a particular job that cannot be filled by a British or EEA worker. It replaces the work permit scheme.

Details of the points-based system process and the procedure to follow can be found in the UKVI website


Further advice and guidance on this procedure can be obtained from your HR Manager 

Sponsoring Migrant Workers

The relevant link to the UKVI website titled ‘Sponsoring Migrant Workers’ outlines Hope’s responsibilities in terms of:

Area 1 – Monitoring immigration status and preventing illegal employment

Area 2 – Monitoring migrant contact details

Area 3 – Record keeping

Area 4 – Migrant tracking and monitoring

Area 5 – Professional accreditation and registration