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Employee checking service (ECS Check UK) are an important element of the hiring process since they allow employers to confirm that potential employees are eligible to work in the United Kingdom. To determine if a prospective employee has time-limited or permanent permission to work, the employer must examine the relevant documentation, such as a passport or visa. Employers must conduct this before hiring anyone to ensure that they are legally able to perform the work in question. If the employer fails to comply, the home office employee checking service may impose a fine.

Right to Work (Rtw) Document Checks

Employers, including UCL, are required by the Home Office and the law to conduct RTW checks in order to prevent illegal work. It is the responsibility of the department at UCL to review and copy RTW documentation for any employees they wish to pay through the UCL payroll (unless the check is completed by Unitemps).

The home office employee checking service (ECS) is the step you must take to determine whether a person has both the right to work in the UK and the right to do the work you’re proposing. This is a simple three-step procedure that is part of UCL’s recruitment and hiring procedures. Please keep in mind that students will need to provide supplementary paperwork.

The government’s specifically instructed home office employee checking service, ECS Check UK, gives the right to work: Annex A of an employer’s guidance contains a list of approved documents. The withdrawn book ‘Acceptable right to work documents: an employer’s guidance’ contains examples of what the documents should look like.

Standard RTW checks must be made in person or using the Right to Work checking service starting April 6, 2022. If they’ve given you their share code.

When Right-To-Work Should Be Checked

Before a worker or ECS check UK conducts any job for UCL, RTW must be checked. If the RTW is on time, it must be before it expires in order for the worker to continue working.

It is standard procedure to examine the RTW documents for all candidates in person at the interview if they will be attending UCL for an interview. This avoids delays because RTW should be checked before submitting an employment contract request. If checks are being sent remotely under the COVID-19 measures. A second online meeting should be held to check the candidate’s RTW.

If a candidate lacks sponsorship or is awaiting a valid right to work document. They must wait until the visa (or other required work paperwork) is obtained and an RTW check is completed before beginning employment.

How to Conduct an In-Person Right to Work Check

#1. Request to view the applicant’s original work authorization documentation. You can use the government’s online right-to-work verification programme if they give you permission and share a code.

#2. Verify that the documents are real and that the person presenting them is the potential employee or employee. The rightful holder, and authorised to perform the work. The Right to Work Checklist provides a list of acceptable documents. Checks you should perform are in the ‘Validity of Documents’ section below.

#3. Make a clear copy of the document and write next to it ‘I confirm I have seen the original document on [DATE]’ and sign the first page of each copied document. 

How to Conduct a Remote Right to Work Check

Due to the coronavirus (COVID-19), the UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) implemented interim measures from March 30, 2020, to April 5, 2022. Making it easier for employers to conduct right-to-work (RTW) checks without meeting the applicant in person.

  1. Request that the employee email or use a mobile app to send a scanned copy or photo of their original paperwork.
  2. Arrange a video call with the worker.

Request that they hold the original documents up to the camera and compare them to the digital copies.

Verify that the person presenting them is the prospective ECS check UK. The lawful owner, is authorised to perform the work being provided.

You can use the online right-to-work checking service in addition to the video call if the worker holds a current Biometric Residence permit, or residence card, or status under the EU Settlement Scheme. If the applicant gives you permission and provides you with their share code, you may only use the online checking service to do the check.

Validity of documents

  • Photographs and dates of birth are consistent across documents and with the person’s appearance in order to detect impersonation;
  • Expiry dates for permission to be in the UK have not passed;
  • Any work restrictions to determine if they are allowed to do the type of work on offer (for students who have limited permission to work during term-times, you must also obtain, copy and retain details of their academic term and vacation times covering the duration of their period of study in the UK for which they will be employed);
  • The documents are genuine, have not been with the holder, and belong to the holder.
  • The reasons for any difference in names across documents can be by providing evidence (e.g. original marriage certificate, divorce decree absolute, deed poll). These supporting documents must also be photocopied and a copy retained.

Which Documents You Must Retain

You must make copies of and keep copies of:

Passports: any page containing information indicating the holder’s entitlement to enter or remain in the UK (visa or entry stamp) and perform the work in question, as well as any page containing information indicating the holder’s nationality, date of birth, signature, leave expiry date, biometric details, and photograph (the front cover no longer has to be copied).

All additional documents: a full copy of the document. Including both sides of a Biometric Residence Permit, an Application Registration Card, and a Residence Card (biometric format).

Download and save a PDF of the ‘profile’ page certifying the individual’s right to work for online checks (using the government service).

Verifying right to work in the UK – Employer Checking Service

In some cases, UKVI may seek extra proof that a person has the legal right to work in the United Kingdom. If an employee or candidate has: Please contact HR Services, who will conduct additional checks through the Employer Checking Service.

Provided a recent Certificate of Application indicating that construction is permitted; or

An Application Registration Card states that the possessor is to perform the task at hand. If the card has an expiration date, it must not have passed. Any work will be in jobs in shortage occupations; or

An application that was submitted before their previous permit expired and is currently undergoing an appeal or administrative review; or

They presented evidence showing that they are long-term UK residents who arrived before 1988. But they were unable to offer suitable documents.

If the Job Applicant or Existing Worker Cannot Show Their Documents

Managers must direct HR Services to contact the Employee Checking Service at the Home Office. The ECS Check UK will send a ‘Positive Verification Notice’ if the worker has legal permission to work. This gives UCL a six-month statutory excuse from the date of the notice.

Follow-up Checks and Expiry of Right to Work

A follow-up inspection is not for List A documents. A follow-up ECS check UK is necessary for List B – Group 1 at the expiration date on the right-to-work documents. More so, a follow-up check must be shortly before the Positive Verification Notice expires for List B, Group 2 papers. Such as a Certificate of Application or an Application Registration Card paired with a Positive Verification Notice (valid for 6 months).

Before an individual’s right to work expires, HR Services will contact the Departmental Administrator to request the most recent RTW documentation. Evidence (e.g., a copy of the application) confirming one of the following must be emailed to HR Services:

There has been a request to extend the Certificate of Sponsorship; or

They have applied for a visa extension that will allow them to continue working; alternatively, they have applied for a visa extension that will allow them to continue working.

They have applied for and been granted permanent leave to remain; or

They have been granted indefinite leave to reside in the United States.

HR Services will check with the Home Office Employer Checking Service to confirm this.

Checking right to work for as and when worker payments

Individuals who are invited to perform a short-term, one-time duty must be checked and given copyright to work documentation before they begin work. You must send copies of the documents to HR via Department Transactions. For audit purposes, old paper copies must be securely stored in the department for 24 months after the worker’s participation. Unitemps will conduct right-to-work checks on every employee they hire.

Checking Right to Work for Student Visas

Students on a student visa studying at a level below a bachelor’s degree will be required to work up to ten hours per week during the school year and full-time during the summer break.

Overseas students pursuing a bachelor’s degree or above will be required to work up to 20 hours per week. During the academic year and full-time during the summer break.

Because postgraduate international students do not receive a university vacation. They are not to work more than 20 hours per week at any time during the year. “A period of seven days commencing on Monday,” according to Immigration Rules.

It is the obligation of the department to guarantee that students do not workmore hours than they are to work. To guarantee that the maximum hours are not more. Departments should keep an up-to-date record of all assigned hours and verify with students to ensure that they have not taken on any more work during the relevant period.

Please be aware of the academic term and vacation dates. As well as the additional document checks that must be done annually. Are for international students on a student visa. When submitting the right to work documentation, please include the institution the student is attending in writing to help with the annual check. It is possible to use a Term Dates Form template.


How long does a ECS check take?

Within five working days, the ECS will respond with either a Positive or Negative Verification Notice.

How do employers check settlement status?

Employers should check their digital CoA via the online View a job applicant’s right to work details service or verify their EUSS email (or letter if they submitted a paper application), confirming receipt of their application with the Home Office Employer Checking Service.

What is ECS check?

ECS Check is the name for several online systems that allow clients, contractors, agencies, and others to verify the status of electrotechnical workers.

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Employers should check their digital CoA via the online View a job applicant's right to work details service or verify their EUSS email (or letter if they submitted a paper application), confirming receipt of their application with the Home Office Employer Checking Service.

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ECS Check is the name for several online systems that allow clients, contractors, agencies, and others to verify the status of electrotechnical workers.

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