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3 Common Pitfalls to Avoid When Performing Right to Work Checks

Make sure you’re following the UK right to work rules when contracting and paying film and TV production teams by avoiding these common mistakes.
May 22, 2023

Towards the end of last year, the UK Home Office made a number of changes to the rules around right to work checks

To help production teams navigate the new rules correctly, here are three common pitfalls to avoid when performing right to work checks.

Still doing “remote” right to work checks

The Covid-19 pandemic undoubtedly changed the working world forever, particularly with respect to remote working. However, when it comes to right to work checks, the temporary rules which allowed employers to carry out remote right to work checks during the pandemic no longer apply.

As such, while you can still meet candidates or new hires remotely via video call, you must now physically check their original right to work documents in person. This will therefore require the worker to either send the original documents to you by post or courier or, ideally, present themselves in person along with the original documents.

Following the wrong right to work process 

Biometric residence permits can no longer be checked manually; instead, they must be checked using the Home Office’s online portal before any type of work begins. 

This requires the worker to provide a share code so that their details can be checked. The same process is used for EU workers under the EU Settlement Scheme. 

The date of the check is then logged by the Home Office. This is a common watch-out, as the Home Office will be able to see if a right to work check has been carried out late.

Man typing on laptop with passport nearby.jpg

Failing to double check the results of an online check or IDSP report 

The Home Office has made it clear that employers are still personally responsible for validating the results of a check performed via its online portal or an Identification Document Service Provider. This includes checking: 

  • The visa expiry dates; 
  • The type of work permitted under the visa; and 
  • That the photo in the report is definitely the same person presenting themselves for work. 

This responsibility cannot be outsourced, and records should be retained and stored securely to prove all of the above in the event of an audit by UK Visas and Immigration.

How EP can help

The EP Production Portal helps you to track whose right to work has been confirmed and get everything in order before anyone steps on set. Send reminders to those who need to upload their documents and set up alerts to complete your checks as soon as they do.

To help with right to work compliance, the Production Portal captures the name of the reviewer and the date and time of the review. And because crew upload their right to work documents directly to the platform, you maintain a secure audit trail even after you wrap.

For more information on contracting crew in the UK, see Getting Your Crew Contracts in Place: A guide for UK productions.

Topic: Legal

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