How to check if my Personal Assistant has the right to work in the UK?

This guidance may seem a chore but is critical that you are aware of your legal responsibilities when it comes to checking that your Personal Assistant has the legal right to work in the UK.

Key points you must remember:

You MUST check any prospective employee, regardless of their nationality.  This must be done BEFORE you offer them a job.

If you fail to check the and it turns out your Personal Assistant does not have the right paperwork to work in the UK, you can be fined up to £20,000 .

Your Personal Assistant must provide specified documents from what’s term as ‘LIST A’ and ‘LIST B’.

Copies of all relevant documents must be taken and you should store these for at least two years AFTER they are no longer employed with you.

To avoid discrimination, you must not make assumptions about a person’s right to work in the UK based on their background, appearance or accent – this is why ALL employees, including British citizens, must have their documents checked. This is applicable even if you hire a family member as your Personal Assistant.

3 step process for checking right to work in the UK

STEP 1: Ask for acceptable documents showing right to work in the UK

Your Personal Assistant must give you one document from ‘LIST A’ and one document from ‘LIST B’.  You can only accept original documents.

STEP 2: Check the validity of the documents

Check that the documents you have been provided with are genuine and your Personal Assistant is the rightful holder of the documentation.  If you are not sure, ask someone you trust to have a look at the documentation on your behalf.

Things to look for when reviewing right to work documentation (quick check list):

Check completed Yes No N/A
Are photographs consistent across documents and with the appearance of the person?        
Are dates of birth listed consistent across all documents & do they match up with the appearance of the person?      
Expiry dates of any limited right to enter or remain in the UK have not passed?        
Any work restrictions to determine if the person is entitled to do the work in question?*        
Are you satisfied the documents are genuine, have not been tampered with and belong to the holder?      
Have you asked for additional documents (e.g. marriage certificate, divorce decree, deed poll) to explain why you have been given documents with different names?      

*Remember 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 dates.

I would recommend reading and downloading the Governments. Right to Work checklist – it is thorough and also provides up to date information on what documents are accepted.

STEP 3: Take a copy of the documents

You must make a clear copy of the documents in a format which cannot later be altered.  You must also print your name and signature and record the date of the check. 

If you are using your phone to take a copy, then this must be printed out so you can write your name, date and sign the back.  This step is needed to ensure you can demonstrate you complied with the law.

You must make a copy and keep:

Passports:  any page with the document expiry date, the holder’s nationality, date of birth, signature, leave expiry date, biometric details, photograph and any page containing information indicating the holder has an entitlement to enter or remain in the UK and undertake the work in question.

All other documents:  the full document, including both sides of a Biometric Residence Permit.

Right to work FindMyPA.Care

What is ‘List A’ documentation?

‘List A’ documentation shows is evidence that your Personal Assistant has the right to continue working in the UK indefinitely.  The official term however is ‘acceptable documents to establish a continuous statutory excuse’.

‘LIST A’ documentation includes:

1. A passport showing the holder, or a person named in the passport as the child of the holder, is a British citizen or a citizen of the UK and Colonies having the right of abode in the UK.

2. A passport or national identity card showing the holder, or a person named in the passport as the child of the holder, is a national of a European Economic Area country or Switzerland.

3. A Registration Certificate or Document Certifying Permanent Residence issued by the Home Office to a national of a European Economic Area country or Switzerland.

4. A Permanent Residence Card issued by the Home Office to the family member of a national of a European Economic Area country or Switzerland.

5. A current Biometric Immigration Document (Biometric Residence Permit) issued by the Home Office to the holder indicating that the person named is allowed to stay indefinitely in the UK, or has no time limit on their stay in the UK.

6. A current passport endorsed to show that the holder is exempt from immigration control, is allowed to stay indefinitely in the UK, has the right of abode in the UK, or has no time limit on their stay in the UK.

7. A current Immigration Status Document issued by the Home Office to the holder with an endorsement indicating that the named person is allowed to stay indefinitely in the UK, or has no time limit on their stay in the UK, together with an official document giving the person’s permanent National Insurance number and their name issued by a Government agency or a previous employer.

8. A full birth or adoption certificate issued in the UK which includes the name(s) of at least one of the holder’s parents or adoptive parents, together with an official document giving the person’s permanent National Insurance number and their name issued by a Government agency or a previous employer.

9. A birth or adoption certificate issued in the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man or Ireland, together with an official document giving the person’s permanent National Insurance number and their name issued by a Government agency or a previous employer.

10. A certificate of registration or naturalisation as a British citizen, together with an official document giving the person’s permanent National Insurance number and their name issued by a Government agency or a previous employer.

What is ‘List B’ documentation?

‘List B’ documentation is split into two parts; Group 1 – this is documentation where there is a time limit to a person’s stay that includes an expiry date and Group 2 – where the right to work in the UK has a set time limit of 6 months.

Group 1 – Documents where a time-limited statutory excuse lasts until the expiry date of leave

1. A current passport endorsed to show that the holder is allowed to stay in the UK and is currently allowed to do the type of work in question.

2. A current Biometric Immigration Document (Biometric Residence Permit) issued by the Home Office to the holder which indicates that the named person can currently stay in the UK and is allowed to do the work in question.

3. A current Residence Card (including an Accession Residence Card or a Derivative Residence Card) issued by the Home Office to a non-European Economic Area national who is a family member of a national of a European Economic Area country or Switzerland or who has a derivative right of residence.

4. A current Immigration Status Document containing a photograph issued by the Home Office to the holder with a valid endorsement indicating that the named person may stay in the UK, and is allowed to do the type of work in question, together with an official document giving the person’s permanent National Insurance number and their name issued by a Government agency or a previous employer.

Group 2 – Documents where a time-limited statutory excuse lasts for 6 months

1. A Certificate of Application issued by the Home Office under regulation 17 (3) or 18A (2) of the Immigration (European Economic Area) Regulations 2006 to a family member of a national of a

European Economic Area country or Switzerland stating that the holder is permitted to take employment which is less than 6 months old together with a Positive Verification Notice (an official correspondence from the Home Office Employer Checking Service which confirms that a named person has permission to undertake the work in question).

2. An Application Registration Card issued by the Home Office stating that the holder is permitted to take the employment in question, together with a Positive Verification Notice (an official correspondence from the Home Office Employer Checking Service which confirms that a named person has permission to undertake the work in question).

3. A Positive Verification Notice issued by the Home Office Employer Checking Service to the employer or prospective employer which indicates that the named person may stay in the UK and is permitted to do the work in question.

What to do if you’re not sure about the documentation you’ve received

The Government has a quick right to work reference tool that can be helpful if you get stuck.

Alternatively you can contact the Home Office directly on: 0300 123 5434.  Office hours are Monday to Thursday, 9am – 4.45pm and Friday 9am to 4.30pm) or https://www.gov.uk/prove-right-to-work

How do I check if my Personal Assistant has the right to work in the UK?
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