Establishing Right to Work Checks – New Code from January 2024

Right to work in the UK Conduct Regulations

The Home Office has published a new code of practice applicable to employers establishing that an employee has a right to work in the UK. The new code is applicable from 22nd January 2024, and if steps within it are followed, should result in an employer having a defence against liability should the employee not have a right to work.

UK laws make it illegal to employ a person who does not have a valid and subsisting right to work in the UK. However, a statutory defence is available if certain checks have been carried out. Employers can check rights to work by reviewing original documents, using a registered ID service provider (British or Irish citizens only) or, in the case of individuals who are neither a British or Irish citizen, via the Home Office online checking service. The code of practice, which can be found here, sets out the details of what needs to be checked and how in each case. 

The code and legislation are specific to employment so may not strictly apply to all temporary agency workers. However, right to work checks on all agency workers and contractors are considered best practice.  Right to work checks are commonly a client requirement or expectation and are included within client or RPO drafted terms, and specific framework requirements in sectors such as education. A right to work check may fall within the remit of EAS inspections as an authorisation required by law or part of the reasonable steps a recruitment business must take to ensure that the placement would not be detrimental. But a major factor is also reputational or relationship damage if a person you supply does not have a right to work, and checks have not been performed.

For more information on compliance, including Conduct Regulations and Right to Work call us on 01273 236 236 or email [email protected]

Theresa Mimnagh, Director, Lawspeed

Lawspeed group corporate clients benefit from immediate up to date advice on staff engagement and related regulation; employment status; client, IR35, PAYE and umbrella contract templates; contract review/negotiation; self-employment and CIS contract templates; trade membership and government representation; accreditation services and a state of the art digital contract management platform.

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