These checks can also act as general Identity Checks (i.e. a copy of the passport), for an Agency simply to check that the Candidates are who they say they are.

Important. Please read the following paragraph before continuing.

Leah Ley-Wilson Recruitment provides this information purely as a very basic guide and will endeavour to keep this information up to date. However, we are not employment law specialists and we will not accept responsibility for the use of said information by any third party.

Please note that, in our opinion, the best information on this topic is provided on the web by the REC and we recommend that you verify your requirements either via the REC themselves or via the DTI, both of whom you can find at and.

The other port of call is the Conduct of Employment Agencies and Employment Businesses Regulations 2003, which you can find at

What sort of checks do you have to undertake?

The Asylum and Immigration Act of 1996 places the onus for checking a prospective employee’s eligibility to work in the UK firmly with the employer. Section 8 of the Act details the checks that an employer can do to ensure they have good defence should the employee ultimately be proved not to be allowed to work lawfully in the UK.

The potential employer should check and copy any one of a number of documents as outlined on the REC website. These include, (not exhaustively and in no order):
  • British passport
  • EEA passport or identity card
  • Residence permit
  • Passport or other travel document endorsed by the Home Office
  • Application Registration Card issued by the Home Office to an asylum
In most cases any document other than a British passport should show some Home Office endorsement allowing the holder to take up employment in the UK.

There are also specific combinations of two or more other documents which, if copied and checked as correct, will also allow the employer to establish a defence against unlawful employment of a candidate. These documents include, (not exhaustively and in no order of preference):
  • P45, P60, National Insurance card
  • Full birth certificate issued in the UK, Channel islands, Isle of Man or Ireland
  • Certificate of Registration stating the holder is a British citizen
  • Home office letter endorsing the holder’s ability to work in the UK.
  • Immigration status document endorsed by the Home office
  • Work Permit
The documents above can only be combined in very specific ways and we would recommend that you view the REC website for full details.

The employer also has a duty to check the details on each document so as to satisfy themselves that the candidate is the rightful holder of the documents in question. Check the photos, the date of birth, any expiry dates and any endorsements. If there are any inconsistencies, make sure you ask for further documentation which will explain the reasons for them. Examples of the sort of endorsements that might appear on a document are outlined on the REC website.

Finally the Home Office advises that the employer holds on to copies of the documents for at least three years after the candidate has started working with them.

For information on work permits try