Check a candidate's right to work with their share code
Guide to UK employers
This is a guide for UK employers to help them check a candidate's and/or employee’s right to work in the UK using their share code. This is for information purposes only.
There is an increasing interest to know about Share Codes as proof of an individual’s right to work (or rent, study, etc) in the UK. It’s a tool from the UK Government that is helping employers with their Right to Work checks on job applicants.
First things first:
What is a Share Code UK?
The UK Government has implemented a system for individuals to prove their immigration status I the UK easily, and without paperwork.
Basically, after an individual has been granted a pre-settle or settle status, they can then log in to the online portal and request a share code to prove their right to work, rent, study, etc, in the UK.
The share code can be valid for 30 days and is consists of 9 alphanumeric characters, such as: 9XY-6GY-2S2.
You can learn more on how to guide your candidates and employees to generate this share code on this guide.
Now that what a share code is has been explained, let’s move on to the next step, which is:
How to check a job applicant’s right to work in the UK using a share code.
All employers in the UK have the obligation to check their employees right to work in the UK before the commencement of their employment, to help avoid illegal working, and to avoid being penalised themselves (see “Penalties for employing illegal workers”).
As an employer you must also not discriminate against anyone because of where they’re from.
Let’s get started on how to check a candidate’s or employee’s status online:
Step 1. Use the Home Office Online Service (“Share Code”)
1. Ask the job applicant to generate a share code and provide it to you.
In case they don’t have a share code, you can also check a job applicant’s original documents. You can do it manually, or use a robust tool to help you make sure your checks are performed accurately and are valid.
It’s important to remark that it won’t always be possible to conduct online right to work checks on all individuals, since some may not have an immigration status that can be checked online. There is also the possibility that an individual doesn’t wish to demonstrate their status using the online service, even when possible. In this case you should also conduct the manual check (whether you do it yourself manually or use a tool to help you with the process).
Therefore tools like Complygate’s right to work checks can be helpful and save lots of headaches and mistakes by taking care of it in a hassle-free way.
2. Access the ‘View a job applicant’s right to work details’ - available on GOV.UK - using the employer part of the service.
You will have to introduce the share code and the individual’s date of birth. You will then have access to viewing their right to work profile page. The share code will be valid for 30 days and can be used as many times as needed within the 30 days.
Only viewing a candidate’s profile in the online service is not sufficient.
Only viewing a candidate’s profile in the online service is not sufficient and doesn’t provide you with a statutory excuse. It’s only the first step.
By doing so, you can confirm that the person has, in fact, the right to work in the UK, and the proceed to perform a Right to Work check.
This takes us to the second step:
Step 2. Conduct a Right to Work Check
You must conduct it in the presence of the individual (in person or via live video link), and check that the photograph on the online right to work check is of the individual presenting themselves for work. This must be done before the commencement of their employment.
Step 3. Collect and store evidence of the online check.
You must retain evidence of the online right to work check. This evidence should be the profile page of the individual, confirming their right to work in the UK. This is the page that includes their photo and date of the check. You can either print it or save it as a PDF or HTML file.
This file should be stored securely - whether it’s electronically or in hardcopy - for the full duration of the individual’s employment plus two years afterwards. Then the file must be securely destroyed.
You can get more documentation on performing right to work checks on this official file from the Home Office.
If you are considering moving towards a hassle-free online solution, you can request a free demo with us and ask any questions that you may have. We will be more than happy to answer your questions and discuss how our HR and pre-employment solutions can help your business.