Right to Work

Every Employer in the UK Must Prove the Identity of the Prospective Employee


Checking a job applicant’s Right to Work is a task that employers have had to undertake for many years. Indeed, all employers have a legal obligation to check that prospective employees have a Right to Work in the UK before they allow them to start work. Every prospective employee must be checked regardless of nationality, length of contract or the position they will hold.

A check must be undertaken before a job applicant is allowed to start work. Employers must check, in the presence of the applicant, that the documents are valid and that any photographs within the document look like the holder. The time and date of the check has to be recorded to show when the check was made. Copies of the documents must be made and kept for at least two years after employment ends.

Failure to comply with Right to Work requirements could make an employer liable for a Civil Penalty of up to £20.000 per illegal worker and in some cases imprisonment for up to 5 years.

Without thorough and reliable identity checks, employers are putting their business at risk by employing those who have no right to work in the UK. This is where Passport Proven can help.

Whether you make high-volume checks on the move or from multiple sites, or simply from a static base, Passport Proven can support your need to correctly validate identity documents, helping protect your business from identity fraud.

As an Identity Document Validation System, Passport Proven captures images and data from a passport, BRP, Visa or identity card via a scanner or mobile device, Passport Proven then processes and cross-references the information to determine whether the document is valid.

As a web based application, Passport Proven is instantly familiar to anyone used to using the internet; it is cost effective to launch across all business and does not require the purchase of any additional hardware making it particularly good value for a business with more than one site.  As long as an internet connection is available Passport Proven can be used at any time of the day or night.

Our time and date stamped PDF reports are fully compliant with UKVI requirements for demonstrating the statutory excuse. In most cases these results are provided instantaneously. You also have the option for uploading an image of a non-standard document for checking by our experts.  All of this gives you a significant saving in both time and administration whilst maintain the highest levels of integrity with your right to work compliance.  For more information read our article on what is right to work?


Answers to Common Questions


What if I am Caught Employing an Ilegal Worker?

You’ll receive a notice known as a ‘referral notice’ to let you know that:

  • your case is under consideration
  • you may receive a civil penalty of up to £20,000 for each illegal worker

You won’t have to pay the penalty if you can show you made reasonable checks of identity documents.  You’ll be sent a ‘civil penalty notice’ if you’re found liable and you’ll have 28 days to respond.  That notice will tell you what your payment options are and what do next. The notice will also tell you how to appeal if you want to.

Please Note: Employers can be jailed for up to 5 years and receive an unlimited fine if they are found to have ‘knowingly employed’ an illegal worker.

Do I Need to Keep Copies of the Documents Presented to Me?

Yes you must retain a clear copy of the documents and record the date the check was made.

Does the Holder Have to Present the Document or Can Another Person Present it On Their Behalf?

The holder must present the document and you must check the validity of the document in their presence. You should check any photograph in the document with the person presenting it to you to ensure they are one and the same.

Can I Accept a Photocopy of a Document from List A or B?

No, you must see the original document.

What Should I Do if a Document Bears a Different Name?

If two documents bear different names, check that the person has supporting documents showing why they’re different, eg marriage certificate or divorce decree.

How Long Should I Keep the Documents?

For the period of employment and two years beyond the end of employment.


Document Verification Training Online or On-Site

We run specialised training courses in Document Verification and Immigration Law for up to 20 delegates at a time. All our training packages can now be delivered either at a venue of your choosing, via live video presentation or using our e-learning platform, the choice is yours.

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