Understanding the A-Z of Right to Work acronyms, terms, and phrases is important to give you more confidence when discussing the topic with senior management, employees, workers and related services like tax, well-being, and compliance.
To help anyone who wants to keep up with the latest trends in Right to Work, we present to you our Rightcheck Right to Work Definitions & Terms Online Dictionary, with which you can find clear, concise and accurate definitions of all the key terms you need to know.
This online dictionary will be updated regularly (Last Update: 22 August 2023). If you have any suggestions of terms we have missed or would like to see included in this guide, please drop us a comment at email@example.com, and we will include it in our next update.
The ARC is a credit card-sized plastic card issued by the Home Office to individuals who claim asylum. It certifies that you are an asylum claimant and can remain in the UK while your claim is pending. The ARC contains information about your identity or claimed identity. It is not proof of identity.
The bio-data page on a passport typically includes the following information: The passport holder’s full name, date and place of birth, passport number, passport expiration date, photograph, and signature. It may also include information about the issuing authority and the passport holder’s nationality.
A biometric residence permit (BRP) can be used to confirm your (A) Identity, (B) Right to study, or (C) Right to any public services or benefits you’re entitled to. You cannot use your BRP to confirm your right to work or rent.
Biometric Residence Cards are also called ‘UK residence cards’. You might have one if you’re in the UK as a family member of someone from the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein. BRCs have ‘residence card’ printed on them.
In 2020, the HM Passport Office started to issue a (non-EU) passport with a soft blue cover and a gold Royal crest. These passports have the holder’s personal details and their photo added to a polycarbonate page at the back of the passport. These passports are now the standard issued passports for UK citizens.
A certificate of application will be issued to you following the receipt of a valid application for an EEA residence card by the UK Home Office.
A civil penalty is a fine that can be imposed under the prevention of illegal working legislation. The Home Office issues civil penalties once they have discovered that an employer is employing a person who does not have permission to work in the UK.
The adjustments to right-to-work checks introduced on 30 March 2020 as part of the response to COVID-19 ended on 30 September 2022.
The EEA includes EU countries, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Republic of Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden. It also covers Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway. It allows them to be part of the EU’s single market. UK Citizens are not EEA Citizens.
The EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS) is a registration process for EU nationals and their family members who wish to stay in the UK after the UK leaves the EU.
An e-visa is a paperless version of a traditional visa.
A form of permit that allows you to enter the UK as a frontier worker. If you have a digital version of this permit, you can use this to prove your right to work.
The Home Office is the lead government department for crime, the police, drug policy, immigration and passports, and counter-terrorism. It has four priorities: cut crime, reduce immigration, prevent terrorism, and promote growth by keeping the UK safe.
The Employer Checking Service (ECS) is used to request verification from the Home Office that an individual has the right to work in the UK when they have an outstanding application or appeal and cannot present valid right-to-work documents when required.
An identity service provider (IDSP) provides ID verification services. Sometimes referred to as identity providers, they require certification to perform right-to-work (RTW)
Identity Document Validation Technology (IDVT) is a method used to confirm the authenticity and validity of identity documents like passports, driver’s licenses, and ID cards through various means, such as document verification, NFC verification, and more.
Immigration Enforcement (IE) is the operational arm of the Home Office responsible for reducing the size of the illegal population and the harm it causes.
An imposter check is a term used to describe the action required to satisfy yourself that the photograph and biography details (for example, date of birth) on the output from the IDVT check are consistent with the individual presenting themselves for work (i.e. the information provided by the check relates to the individual, and they are not an imposter).
These are documents which provide a continuous statutory excuse; they include:
1. A passport (current or expired) showing the holder is a British citizen or a citizen of the UK and Colonies having the right of abode in the UK.
2. Passport or passport card (in either case, whether current or expired) showing that the holder is an Irish citizen.
3. A document issued by the Bailiwick of Jersey, the Bailiwick of Guernsey or the Isle of Man, verified as valid by the Home Office Employer Checking Service, showing that the holder has been granted unlimited leave.
4. A current passport that is 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.
5. 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.
6. A birth or adoption certificate issued 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.
7. 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.
8. 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.
List B - Group 1
These are documents where the statutory excuse is valid until the expiry of permission to enter or remain. Documents that fall into this category include:
1. A current passport is 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 document issued by the Bailiwick of Jersey, the Bailiwick of Guernsey or the Isle of Man, which has been verified as valid by the Home Office Employer Checking Service, showing that the holder has been granted limited leave to enter or remain under Appendix EU to the Jersey Immigration Rules, Appendix EU to the Immigration (Bailiwick of Guernsey) Rules 2008 or Appendix EU to the Isle of Man Immigration Rules.
3. 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.
List B - Group 2
These are documents where the statutory excuse is valid for six months. Documents that fall into this category include:
1. A document issued by the Home Office showing that the holder has applied for leave to enter or remain under Appendix EU to the immigration rules on or before 30 June 2021, together with a Positive Verification Notice from the Home Office Employer Checking Service.
2. A Certificate of Application (digital or non-digital) issued by the Home Office showing that the holder has made an application for leave to enter or remain under Appendix EU to the immigration rules (known as the EU Settlement Scheme) on or after 1 July 2021, together with a Positive Verification Notice from the Home Office Employer Checking Service.
3. A document issued by the Bailiwick of Jersey, the Bailiwick of Guernsey or the Isle of Man showing that the holder has made an application for leave to enter or remain under Appendix EU (J) to the Jersey Immigration Rules or Appendix EU to the Immigration Rules (Bailiwick of Guernsey) Rules 2008, or Appendix EU to the Isle of Man Immigration Rules together with a Positive Verification Notice from the Home Office Employer Checking Service.
4. 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 from the Home Office Employer Checking Service.
5. A Positive Verification Notice issued by the Home Office Employer Checking Service to the employer or prospective employer indicates that the named person may stay in the UK and is permitted to do the work in question.
The MRZ number is a long number which contains digits, letters and chevrons at the bottom of the passport. For UK Passports, enter the number in full, EXCLUDING the chevrons. This is because there are always 14 chevrons on a UK passport, so there is no need to enter them.
National Insurance is similar to income tax, but it helps pay for some state benefits when individuals need help, for example, when unemployed, ill, in retirement or on bereavement. In the UK, you start paying NIC from age 16 once your earned income reaches a certain level.
A Negative Verification Notice confirms that an employee has no right to work in the UK.
A passport is an official travel document issued by a government that contains a person’s identity. A person with a passport can travel to and from foreign countries more easily and access consular assistance. A passport certifies the personal identity and nationality of its holder.
A positive verification notice is a type of notice that an employer obtains from the Home Office UK to make the employee legally eligible for employment. Employers go this way to ensure employees have a legal right to work.
Pre-settled status means your stay is limited to five years in the UK. This allows you to attain the requisite five years of continuous residence to qualify for full settled status.
In 1988, the UK adopted machine-readable passports in accordance with the International Civil Aviation Organization standard 9303. At this time, the passport colour was also changed to burgundy red to align it with the European Community passports of the other member states. These passports are no longer issued to UK Citizens but are still valid if held by a UK Citizen and are within date.
You must keep a hard copy or a scanned copy of your Right to Work in a format which cannot be manually altered, such as a jpeg or pdf document. You should keep the copies securely for the duration of the person’s employment and for a further two years after they stop working for you. The file must then be securely destroyed.
Settled status gives you proof that you have the right to live in the UK permanently. You can usually apply for British citizenship once you’ve had settled status for 12 months.
A share code is a personal identifier that proves a worker’s immigration status. In practice, an eligible worker will give all their documents and identifying information to the UK government, and their potential workplace can verify their eligibility for employment by checking this share code.
A statutory excuse is an employer’s defence against a civil penalty. You will need to establish a statutory excuse against civil liability if an employee is found to be working illegally.
As an employer, you have a duty under the 2006 Act to carry out document checks on people to ensure they have the right to work in the UK before you employ them. If you correctly carry out the document checks required, you will have a legal excuse, known as a statutory excuse, against payment of a fine.