Employing Ukranian and Afghan Workers
Minister for Refugees Lord Harrington has written to businesses confirming that Ukrainian and Afghan nationals have a right to work in the UK where they have resettled under the Ukraine Family Scheme, Homes for Ukraine Scheme, Afghan Relocations and Assistance Policy or Afghan Citizens Resettlement Scheme. Although the exact process will be determined by how the individual arrived in the UK, employers should conduct right to work checks in the usual manner and contact the Home Office Employer Checking Service (ECS) if further verification if required.
In his letter the Minister re-iterates that all employers in the UK have a responsibility to conduct simple right to work checks before employing someone. These checks are required regardless of nationality – even British citizens are caught by the measures.
Afghan nationals who have resettled in the UK under the Afghan Relocations and Assistance Policy or the Afghan Citizens Resettlement Scheme, and Ukraine nationals who have resettled in the UK under the Ukraine Family and Homes for Ukraine Schemes have a right to work. To evidence that right, employers should conduct right to work checks in the usual way.
For Ukraine nationals, the exact process required of the employer is shaped by how the individual arrived in the UK and the documentation held. But, broadly speaking, at the time of writing:
- Where an individual has a stamp in their passport which provides a time-limited right to work, the employer will need to manually check the passport as set out in published guidance, and perform a follow-up check to ensure the required documentation to evidence the right to work for a longer period (i.e. a Biometric Residence Permit) has been obtained;
- Where an individual has an eVisa (digital evidence of their immigration status, accessible online), the employer should use the online right to work checking service on GOV.UK in the same way as they would for others in possession of a biometric card; and
- Where an individual does not have a passport but instead has an Entry Clearance vignette attached to a ‘Form for Affixing the Visa’ (FAV), where necessary this document can be used as proof of right to work in conjunction with confirmation from the Home Office Employer Checking Service (ECS) in the form of a PositiveVerification Notice (PVN). However, in most cases, shortly after arrival a BiometricResidence Permit is available for collection, and this should be used to access the online checking service.
Where necessary, employers may contact the Home Office Employer Checking Service(ECS) verify right to work:
End of COVID-19 Temporary Changes
The temporary changes to right to work checks introduced in response to COVID‐19, which allow employers to undertake checks via video calls and use scanned copies rather than original documents, are due to end on 30 September 2022. After this date, employers are recommended to verify an individual’s right to work using a certified digital identity service provider (IDSP).