What is a Right to Work Share Code?

Posted on August 24, 2022
Written by Natalie Davies

Right To Work

As part of the UK’s exit from the EU, right to work legislation changed. Following these changes, right to work share codes were introduced to facilitate the process of verifying an employee’s right to work in the UK. 

Right to work share codes were introduced as a means of easing the process of verifying an employee’s right to work, for both the employee and employer. They formed part of  post-Brexit legislation in July 2019.

What is a Right To Work Share Code?

A right to work share code is an online nine-digit alpha-numeric code provided by the UK government to enable non-UK nationals to prove their right to work.

Since the changes to UK legislation following Brexit, employers can no longer accept EU, EEA or Swiss passports or ID cards to verify an employee’s immigration status. Since exiting the EU, UK employers must now complete a right to work check for their employees from European countries.

The right to work online system works on the basis that the individual applying for employment has first viewed their own right to work record via the Home Office. 

Thereafter, they may then share this record with an employer by providing them with a share code. The share code can then be used to securely access this individual’s right to work record. 

When Would a Right To Work Share Code be Issued?

Share codes can be used by individuals with a settled or pre-settled status in the UK or if they have applied for an immigration status via the UK Immigration: ID Check.

In order to receive a share code proving their right to work in the UK, as well as the types of work they can do and how long they are permitted to work in the UK for, prospective employees will need to supply one of the following as part of their application:

  • A biometric residence permit number 
  • A biometric residence card number 
  • A passport or national identity card

What Information is Visible to Employers Via a Share Code? 

When given a share code, employers are able to see key information about the candidate and their working status in the UK. Via an online portal, employers can enter the issued share code and the employee’s date of birth to access their right to work record. Here, employers can see how long an individual is able to work in the UK for, as well as the types of work they are permitted to carry out. 

Additionally, share codes can also be used to check whether an employee has access to public services such as the NHS, their right to any benefits, and whether they are legally able to open a bank account or apply for credit in the UK. 

What Should Employers do with a Right To Work Share Code?

Upon being given a share code, employers can utilise online service to access information about this candidate’s right to work. 

Depending on the applicant’s status, the online service will present whether they have the right to work in the UK, whether this is time-limited or applies only to specific types of work.

Thereafter, employers must check that any photographic evidence or entry clearance shown (where applicable) matches that of the individual presenting themselves for work. 

Employers must retain evidence of the online check undertaken. This means printing the profile page of the relevant employee from the online portal. The page must contain the applicant’s photo, details of right to work and the date on which the check was undertaken. This documentation should be stored securely (electronically or as a hardcopy) for the duration of the employee’s employment and for two years afterwards.