The University of Sheffield
Human Resources

Frequently Asked Questions

The following answers to Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) are provided to support departments conducting Eligibility to Work (ETW) checks at recruitment stage.

Topic Description of Issues Covered
Which documents should candidates bring with them? Documents required by EEA and Non EEA national candidates

What documents should I accept?

How can I tell if they are valid documents?

What do I do if I have concerns that the documents don’t look right?

Checking the validity of documents; what to do if you have concerns with regards to the documents
Which parts of the documents should I copy? Which parts of the document constitutes a check
We are interviewing via telephone. How do I perform a check? How to correctly conduct a check when the candidate is being interviewed remotely
What do I do with the photocopies of the recommended appointee’s documents? Where and how to send the copies; what the documents are used for in HR

What do I do with the photocopies of the documents provided by the other candidates who were not appointed?

What does Human resources do with this information?

How to dispose of documents which are no longer required
Do I have to do the eligibility checks for Casual Workers? How to perform a check on an Casual Worker
What would happen if the correct eligibility to work checks were not in place before the person starts work? Consequences of not conducting a check

What documents do candidates need to bring with them?

This will vary dependent upon the candidate’s eligibility status. All prospective employees will fall into one of three categories and it is the responsibility of the candidate to consider this in advance and provide you with the relevant documentation to support their status when they attend interview/selection action. When you invite a candidate to attend selection tests/interview, you must inform them of the supporting documentation that they should bring with them. Please see below for further information on the three categories of interview candidates.

Candidates in the UK with no restrictions

The documents which confirm this are defined by the UK Border Agency (UKBA) within List A. If documents from List A are presented, no further checks relating to that person´s eligibility to work in the UK need to be carried out for the duration of their employment with the University.

The checklist giving instructions and listing acceptable documents can be found on the right hand side of this page.

Candidates in the UK who have limitations

The documents which confirm this are defined by the UK Border Agency (UKBA) within List B. If this applies to a candidate they will need to present you with documentary evidence of their right to work in the UK with limitations (this is often time-limited). If documents from List B are presented, then the checks should be repeated for that individual at least once every twelve months from the start of their employment. All subsequent checks will be coordinated by Human Resources in conjunction with recruiting departments.

The checklist giving instructions and listing acceptable documents can be found on the right hand side of this page.

Further information on the duties the University must carry out as a sponsor can be found on the right hand link. The University currently holds a sponsorship licence for Tier 2 (Skilled Workers), Tier 4 (Students) and Tier 5 (Government Authorised Exchange).

Candidates who are non-EU Nationals and are not eligible to work at this stage

Where a candidate cannot provide evidence from either List A or List B to show their right to work in the UK, recruiting managers may need to explore the process for obtaining permission to work in the UK for overseas nationals. This is covered by the Points Based System (PBS) and sponsorship scheme (formerly the work permit scheme). This area is tightly restricted by the government and the University will only be in a position to sponsor employees where the pre-defined criteria are met. It is important that you inform Human Resources as early as possible if you think sponsorship of a candidate will be required.

Examples of the documents within Lists A and B (including images of the documents) can be found in the comprehensive guidance for employers on preventing illegal working document accessible via the link to the right of this page.

What documents should I accept?

There are a range of options regarding which documents are acceptable from List A and List B checklists see the download box on this page. When candidates contact you to confirm that they are attending the selection tests/interview, it is recommended that recruiting departments check with them at that stage which type of documents they will be presenting for checking. This allows the recruiting department to prepare appropriately in advance of the interview date and to have the correct checklist prepared for use on the day.

How can I tell if they are valid documents?

It is important that you check presented documents in person, face-to-face. This is to ensure that the information provided in the documents (such as photograph, date of birth etc) bear a close resemblance to the person who is applying for the role. This is a key part of identifying fraudulent documents. You must be fully satisfied that the documents presented to you are true documents. If you have any doubts at all, please refer to another colleague within your department or to Human Resources for a second opinion.

Further guidance on specific points to be aware of are available at on the UK Border Agency’s website, which can be accessed by the right hand link.

What do I do if I have concerns that the documents don’t look right?

You must be fully satisfied that the documents presented to you are true documents. If you have any doubts, please refer to another colleague within your department for a second opinion or your customary HR contact for further advice.

Further guidance on specific points to be aware of are available at on the UK Border Agency’s web page, see right hand link. a link to which can be found on the right of this page.

Which parts of the documents should I copy?

This is detailed within the checklists which you can download from the right hand side of this page. As a general starting point, the outside cover (front and back, please remove from any protective cover), personal details page, and any pages containing the individuals current UK visa. However, the requirements of what are needed may be subject to change. Therefore, please use the current version of the downloadable checklist every time to ensure that you are using the most up-to-date version.

We are interviewing via telephone. How do I perform a check?

The candidates who attend in person should be asked to provide documentary evidence on the day that they attend the selection tests/interview in line with standard procedure. Where remote interviewing is necessary, it is recommended that you build in a further assessment step which involves the preferred candidate attending the University and planned work environment. This will allow both the recruiting department and the candidate the opportunity to attain a fuller picture of each other, of the job and the working environment and to undertake this essential check before employment begins. If an additional level of assessment is not built into the selection action planning, as a minimum the recruiting department must request the recommended appointee to present the appropriate documentation to them for checking prior to the planned start date. To start work without confirmed eligibility to work status would be a breach of legislative requirements.

What do I do with the photocopies of the recommended appointee’s documents?

Having completed the eligibility check in good time, the recruiting department should send a copy of the successful candidate’s documentation to Human Resources prior to the individual´s start date in order to activate their employment.

Scan in the photocopies of the documents checked and the checklist, attach them electronically to the Request to Appoint (RTA) in the e-Recruitment system and forward them to the Human Resources Department.

You must ensure that all copies and scans are of a good standard with all relevant points legible. If this is not the case, Human Resources are required to stop the recruitment process until this information is received.

What does Human Resources do with this information?

Copies of these documents will be retained securely by Human Resources for the duration of the individual´s employment with the University, and for a period of time after it comes to an end. It will then be deleted or disposed of securely.

What do I do with the photocopies of the documents provided by the other candidates who were not appointed?

Recruiting departments should retain this information securely until the offer of appointment has been accepted and employment started. Up until that point you may need to move to your second or third choice rankings in the selection process, therefore this information is still of use. At that point, copies of documents for unsuccessful candidates should be disposed of in a confidential manner as they contain sensitive information about those individuals. It is the responsibility of the recruiting department to store and dispose of these documents securely.

Do I have to do the eligibility checks for Casual Workers?

Yes. Eligibility to work checks should also be carried out for Casual Worker. Copies should be sent to Human Resources along with the Registration form. For further guidance on Casual Workers can be found on the right hand link.

What would happen if the correct eligibility to work checks were not in place before the person starts work?

Confirmation of eligibility to work in the UK is not an optional element of the recruitment and selection process. It is a key step for all appointments, which recruiting departments must ensure is fully actioned before the recommended appointee starts work.

If evidence of an individual´s eligibility to work in the UK is not in place, this would be considered a breach of our statutory duty as an employer. As a result the recommended appointee would be excluded from the staff payroll and the offer of appointment could be postponed or withdrawn. The University, and individual members of staff involved in non-action, could face financial penalties and legal action.

Further information from the UK Border Agency on the prevention of illegal working can be found on the right hand side of the page.