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Conducting right to work checks

From 6 April 2022 right to work checks are changing

From 6 April Biometric Residence Card (BRC), Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) and Frontier Worker Permit (FWP) holders will evidence their right to work using the Home Office online service only, presentation of a physical document will no longer be acceptable.

This means that, from 6 April, we will no longer be able to accept or check a physical BRP, BRC or FWP as valid proof of right to work, even if it shows a later expiry date. 


Who carries out right to work checks?

While the majority of checks are carried out in People and OD Operations as part of the recruitment process, staff across the University may need to carry out checks for example on casual workers, graduate teaching assistants, or visitors.

People and OD may also ask you to check the right to work of a member of staff if this needs to be performed in-person at a location outside Manchester where you and the person are both based. 

You must be approved by People and OD Operations to do this, and must have read this guidance; check with People and OD Operations for your area if you are unsure about anything, we are here to help.

Which workers need to have their right to work checked?

All workers engaged by the University. It is essential that assumptions are not made about the nationality of staff based on their name, accent, appearance, or current employment.

Note that we do not check right to work of agency-employed staff; the agency is responsible for this check as the employer.  We do not need to check the eligibility to work of the genuinely self-employed i.e. those people with a unique tax reference (UTR) who are providing Operations to the University and providing an invoice to be paid by the University.

When should checks be carried out?

Checks must always be carried out:

  • prior to employment for all staff
  • when a worker on a visa is changing jobs (to ensure no restrictions exist that prevent them doing so)
  • when a worker whose visa or other work authorisation is expiring
  • at the point when a worker is granted indefinite leave to remain (ILR)

If it is not practical to make a physical check of their documents in advance of their first day, you must ensure that original documents are brought to People and OD Operations on Day One before they commence work.

If approved to do so, how do I -

- carry out a manual check?

  • Accept original documents only
  • Carry out the check with the person physically present:
  1. check photos are consistent with the person’s appearance
  2. check photos and dates of birth are consistent across all documents
  3. check for expiry dates 
  4. check for restrictions on work
  5. where applicable, check reasons for name changes (such as marriage), that these are supported by documentation, and photocopy that additional documentation
  • Take a copy of the original document
  • Certify (sign) the copy by writing the words ‘The date on which this right to work check was made was’ and include the date together with your signature and name in full.
  • Provide the copy to People and OD Operations so that it can be stored on their personnel file 

- carry out an online check?

  • Carry out the check with the person physically present or on a video call:
  1. access the service 'View a job applicant's right to work details'
  2. enter the 'share code' provided to you by the individual
  3. enter their date of birth
  4. check photos are consistent with the person’s appearance
  5. check they have the right to work
  • Print or save the 'profile' page confirming the individual's right to work. This is the page that includes the individual’s photo and date on which the check was conducted. You will have the option of printing the profile or saving it as a PDF or HTML file
  • Provide the copy to People and OD Operations so that it can be stored on their personnel file 

Which documents can I accept as proof of right to work?

The Home Office maintains a list of the only documents we can accept. It is divided into List A (documents which show a continuous right to remain) and List B (documents which show a temporary right to remain). The lists are available in Annex A of this document.

Since 1 July 2021 an EEA passport or national identity card is no longer a valid document to prove the individual's right to work.  For information on how individuals can prove their right to work see Prove your right to work to an employer - GOV.UK (

How do I know the documents presented are genuine?

The range of documents that could be presented is wide, so some guidance on their format, content, and things to look out for is available here.

How do I determine someone is eligible to work from their documentation?

There is an easy to use tool to check whether someone has the right to work based on the documentation presented here and if you are at all uncertain contact your People and OD Operations.

How do I supply the documents to People and OD Operations

If you have undertaken a check involving hard copies that need to be provided to People and ODOperations, these should be brought over to the second floor of Simon building in person whenever possible, rather than going in the internal mail.  People and OD Services Reception will take receipt.  If you are not based on the Manchester campus contact your People and OD Operations team to agree the best way to send them securely.

Online Right to Work Check Guide

More detailed guidance on how to undertake an online right to work check can be found here.


Performing remote checks during covid-19

Due to the covid-19 pandemic, in 2020 the government introduced an ‘adjusted check’ that can be undertaken remotely rather than in person with original, physical documents.

The ability to undertake an ‘adjusted check’ will come to an end on 30 September 2022.  We will update the guidance as and when more information becomes available from the government, however it is your responsibility that they right type of check is performed according to the date on which it is undertaken.  If you are at all unsure, speak with People and OD Operations.  

The process to undertake an ‘adjusted check’ is as follows:

  • Request that the individual sends you an electronic copy e.g. scan or photo of the document they are using to prove they are eligible to work (note they should protect their document appropriately and provide a password by separate means where needed) or the sharecode to access the online system
  • The list of documents you can accept is outlined in:
  • Arrange a video call with the individual (zoom or Teams) to check the document.  Advise them that they will need to have the original document with them for the video call. 
  • During the video call, check that their appearance matches the document.
  • Ask them to hold up the original documents to the camera and check them against the digital copy of the documents they have sent previously.
  • It is essential that you record the date that the video check was made – please save the scanned copy that you have been sent with the following file name format ‘SURNAME FORENAME adjusted check undertaken DATE SEEN’
  • After you have saved the file it can be provided to People and OD Operations by email at  You must take appropriate precautions to encrypt all personal data such as scans of passports; we recommend that you encrypt a zip file with a password.  The password can then be supplied to a People and OD colleague separately using another channel such as by phone.  See the IT Services page for more advice on encrypting files.
  • Once you are assured that People and OD have confirmed receipt of the documentation you should delete all local copies.  If these are in your email make sure that you have emptied your deleted items.

If a prospective or existing employee cannot provide any of the accepted documents, or you are at all unsure about how to carry out the check, contact People and OD Operations for further advice.