How does an agency carry out a right to work check

There are a number of ways that a Recruitment Agency may 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 the 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 the candidate’s permission, an agency can submit an online form and in around five days, will receive a Positive Verification Notice (PVN) from the Home Office. This will provide the Recruitment Agency 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 the Recruitment Agency with a share code to check their Right to Work status. This share code is valid for 30 days and you’ll also need to share your date of birth.

The Recruitment Agency will need to visually check the 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, the agency will still have to verify the check and candidate to establish a statutory excuse against liability.

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