In today’s dynamic job market, verifying an individual’s right to work is crucial for employers and employees. One effective way to accomplish this is through the Right to Work Share Code. This guide will provide a comprehensive understanding of what a Right to Work Share Code is, how it works, and why it is essential.

Key Takeaways

  1. A Right to Work Share Code is a unique, time-limited code that allows employers to verify an individual’s right to work in the UK through the online checking service.
  2. The code is generated by the employee or job applicant and is valid for 90 days, providing a secure and efficient way to prove work eligibility without sharing physical documents.
  3. Employers must use the share code along with the applicant’s date of birth to access their immigration status and work rights information through the government’s online portal.
  4. This digital system streamlines the verification process, reduces the risk of document fraud, and helps employers maintain compliance with UK immigration laws.


In today’s fast-evolving job market, ensuring that employees are legally permitted to work is more important than ever. The Right to Work Share Code has emerged as a pivotal tool. But what exactly is a Right to Work Share Code, and why should you care?

A Right to Work Share Code is a digital key issued by the government, which allows employers to verify an individual’s work authorization quickly and securely. This code simplifies what used to be a cumbersome process, making it faster and more efficient for both parties involved.

This article aims to be your go-to guide for understanding the Right to Work Share Code. We’ll cover its significance, the application process, and the legal considerations you need to know. Let’s dive in and demystify this crucial aspect of employment verification.

What is a Right to Work Share Code?

A Right to Work Share Code is an alphanumeric code generated by the UK government, allowing individuals to share their immigration status securely with potential or current employers. This code provides a simple and efficient way for employers to verify employees’ right to work in the UK without needing physical documents. By entering the share code and the individual’s date of birth into the Home Office online, employers can access official proof of the person’s work eligibility directly from the Home Office database.

The primary function of the share code is to facilitate secure right-to-work checks, streamlining the verification process that previously required employers to handle physical documents. This digital approach reduces the risk of document fraud and ensures that the verification process aligns with current legal standards and technological advancements.

In today’s job market, verifying work eligibility is not just a formality but a legal necessity. Ensuring that employees have the right to work helps employers avoid significant penalties and legal complications, ensuring a lawful and compliant hiring process. For employees, a share code simplifies the process of proving their right to work, making it easier to secure employment without unnecessary delays.

How Does the Right to Work Share Code Work?


Getting a Right to Work Share Code isn’t rocket science. An individual begins the process by accessing the government portal—usually the official immigration services website. They’ll need personal details like their date of birth and one of their identification documents, such as a passport or biometric residence permit. Once logged in, the system generates a unique share code explicitly tied to that individual’s work authorization status.


Employers can use the share code straightforwardly. The prospective employee provides them with the code and their date of birth. Employers then go to the designated government verification site, input these details, and voilà—they can see the employee’s right-to-work status. This eliminates the need to handle physical documents and speeds up the verification process.


The verification steps focus on clarity and compliance. Employers should follow these essential steps:

  1. Access the Verification Portal: Navigate to the government’s Right to Work checking service.
  2. Input Details: Enter the share code and date of birth provided by the employee.
  3. View Status: The system will display the employee’s right-to-work status. It’s important to print or save a copy of this check for records.
  4. Follow Up: If there are any discrepancies or issues, contacting the appropriate government body is crucial.

With the share code system, the whole process is not only more efficient but also more secure, ensuring that personal data is handled with care.

Importance of the Right to Work Share Code

For Employers

Employers benefit in several ways from utilizing the Right to Work Share Code. First and foremost, it ensures compliance with labor laws. Employers can avoid hefty fines and legal penalties by verifying that an employee is legally permitted to work in the country. This verification process also minimizes the hiring risks associated with fraudulent or forged documentation. Instead of relying on physical documents that can be easily altered, the share code offers a secure, government-verified method for checking work eligibility. This system promotes a lawful employment process, laying a solid legal foundation and fostering a responsible business environment.

For Employees

For employees, the Right to Work Share Code simplifies the job onboarding process. The digital nature of the share code means faster processing times, eliminating the need to provide physical documents repeatedly. This ease of verification allows for quicker integration into the workplace, giving employees peace of mind knowing their work eligibility is confirmed and secure. Additionally, it reduces the administrative burden on potential hires—no more worrying about losing important documents or providing multiple copies. The streamlined process not only speeds up hiring but also provides a hassle-free experience for workers, making the overall employment journey smoother and more efficient.

Right to Work Checks


A right-to-work check is a procedure employers must undertake to confirm that a potential or existing employee has the legal authorization to work in the country. This process is a fundamental part of hiring practices and helps ensure businesses comply with immigration and employment laws.


Traditionally, right-to-work checks involved manually reviewing physical documents such as passports, residence permits, or visas. This method often required face-to-face meetings and careful scrutiny of each document’s authenticity and validity. However, with the advent of the Right to Work Share Code, which can be easily generated and shared online, the process has become much more streamlined. Employers can now verify an individual’s right-to-work status digitally, reducing the need for handling sensitive physical documents.


Employers are legally obligated to conduct right-to-work checks before employing someone and to repeat these checks when documents expire. Failing to carry out these checks correctly can result in hefty fines or penalties. It is crucial for employers to stay informed about current laws and best practices to ensure compliance. Using the Right to Work Share Code simplifies this task, making it less likely for employers to overlook necessary verification procedures.

Getting Your Right to Work Share Code


Before diving into the steps to obtain your Right to Work Share Code, make sure you have the necessary documents and information handy. You’ll typically need:

  1. Personal Information: Full name, date of birth.
  2. Identification Documents: Passport or biometric residence permit.
  3. National Insurance Number (if applicable): This helps in verifying your identity.
  4. Access to Online Government Portal: Ensure you can log into the relevant government service portal.

Step-by-Step Guide

  1. Access the Government Portal: Head over to the official UK government website that handles immigration and work permits.
  2. Login/Create an Account: If you don’t already have an account, you’ll need to create one. This usually involves verifying your email address and setting a password.
  3. Enter Personal Details: Key in your name, date of birth, and any other requested personal information to proceed.
  1. Upload Identification Documents: Follow the prompts to upload your passport or biometric residence permit. Make sure the images are clear and legible.
  2. Generate the Share Code: Once your documents are uploaded and verified, you will be given an option to generate the Right to Work Share Code. This is usually a unique alphanumeric code.
  3. Note the Code and Expiry Date: Write down the share code and check its validity period. The code is time-sensitive, so make sure to inform your employer within this timeframe.

Common Issues

  1. Incorrect Information: Double-check the data you enter. Typos or incorrect information can delay the process or result in rejection.
  2. Document Clarity: Ensure scans or photos of documents are clear. Blurry or partially visible documents won’t be accepted.
  3. Technical Glitches: If you experience website crashes or errors, try clearing your browser’s cache or using a different browser. If the problem persists, contact the government portal’s support team.
  4. Expired Documents: Make sure your documents are up to date. Expired passports or permits will not be accepted for generating a share code.

By following these steps and considerations, you’ll be able to generate your Right to Work Share Code efficiently, ensuring a smooth beginning to your employment verification process.

Verifying the Right to Work Share Code

Employer’s Guide

Verifying a Right to Work Share Code isn’t rocket science, but it’s a crucial step in ensuring compliance and avoiding any legal hiccups. Here’s a no-nonsense guide to get you through the process:

  1. Get the Share Code and Date of Birth: The employee or candidate will provide you with a share code and their date of birth. Make sure you have both before you proceed.
  2. Head to the GOV.UK Website: Navigate to the official GOV.UK ‘Prove your right to work to an employer’ page. This is your primary tool for verification. Bookmark it for easy access.
  3. Enter Details: Pop in the share code and the employee’s date of birth. Double-check the details to avoid any mishaps.
  4. Review the Results: Once you enter the information, you’ll get an instant result showing the employee’s right-to-work status. It should show pertinent details like their name, photograph, and the nature of their work permissions.
  5. Save or Print: Don’t just eyeball the results—download and save a copy of the report or print it for your records. Keeping a paper trail is a best practice for any employment audit.
  6. Cross-Check: Take a moment to compare the information from the verification check with the details provided by the employee. Ensure everything matches up to avoid any inconsistencies.

Best Practices

Incorporating some best practices can simplify the process and make life easier for you and your HR team:

  • Regular Training: Keep your team updated with regular training on the verification process and any changes in legislation.
  • Confidentiality: Maintain strict protocols for handling and storing employee data. It’s critical for both legal compliance and building trust with your staff.
  • Audit Trail: Creating and maintaining an audit trail can save you a nerve-wracking scramble in the event of an audit. Document every check you perform to ensure you’re always covered.
  • Stay Updated: Employment laws and regulations can change. Periodically revisit the GOV.UK website and other official resources to stay in the loop.

By following these steps and best practices, you ensure not just compliance, but also a smooth, seamless hiring process. It’s all about crossing the T’s and dotting the I’s. The payoff? A legally sound and efficient work environment for everyone involved.

Understanding the relevant laws and regulations is non-negotiable when it comes to the Right to Work Share Code. Compliance isn’t just a bureaucratic hoop to jump through; it’s a legal requirement. In the context of work authorization, there are specific laws and regulations that both employers and employees need to be aware of.

First, the primary legislation you’ll encounter is the Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Act 2006. This legislation makes it illegal to employ someone who doesn’t have the right to work in the UK. Non-compliance can result in hefty fines or even imprisonment in severe cases. Employers have a legal duty to conduct right-to-work checks before hiring and to carry them out correctly every time.

Employee rights form another crucial part of the equation. Employees have the right to be informed about their work status and their employer’s procedures to confirm it. They must know they can’t be discriminated against based on nationality or ethnicity. The Equality Act 2010 serves as the governing law to protect employees from discrimination in the workplace.

Confidentiality rounds off our trifecta of legal considerations. Personal data, especially sensitive information like immigration status, needs to be handled with the highest level of care. The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) mandates that any personal information processed must be kept secure and only used for its intended purpose. Employers must ensure that share codes and related data are stored securely and accessed only by authorized personnel.

In summary, navigating the legal landscape surrounding the Right to Work Share Code involves understanding and adhering to laws on immigration, respecting employee rights, and maintaining stringent data confidentiality measures. Compliance keeps you on the right side of the law and builds a trustworthy work environment.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is a Right to Work Share Code?

A Right to Work Share Code is a unique alphanumeric code issued by the government. It allows individuals to quickly and securely share their proof of work authorization with potential employers. Instead of bringing physical documents, providing this code simplifies the verification process and ensures compliance with employment laws.

How do I generate and use a Right to Work Share Code?

To generate a Right to Work Share Code, visit the official government website or portal dedicated to right-to-work checks. Follow the on-screen instructions, which typically involve providing personal details and proof of your eligibility to work. Once generated, you can share this code with your prospective employer, who will use it to verify your right-to-work status through the same platform.

Can employers still ask for physical documents?

Yes, employers can still request physical documents as part of their verification process. However, using a Right to Work Share Code is often preferred because it streamlines the process and reduces paperwork. It’s also a more secure method, minimizing the risk of document forgery.

What should I do if my share code is not working?

If your share code isn’t working, double-check to ensure it hasn’t expired. Share codes are typically valid for a limited period. If it’s still within the validity period, contact the government helpline or support service for assistance. They can help troubleshoot issues and possibly issue a new code if necessary.

How long is the share code valid?

The validity of a Right to Work Share Code usually ranges from a few weeks to several months, depending on the issuing guidelines. Using the code within this timeframe is crucial to avoid delays in the employment process. Always check the specific validity period when the code is generated.


In summary, the Right to Work Share Code plays a pivotal role in the modern workforce, ensuring employers and employees navigate the hiring process with clarity and legality. For employers, using these codes not only streamlines compliance with labor laws but also mitigates hiring risks, making the employment process more lawful and efficient. Employees equally benefit from quicker job application processes and straightforward verification procedures.

Staying up-to-date with the latest guidelines and best practices surrounding Right to Work checks is no longer optional—it’s essential. This proactive approach affirms lawful hiring practices and fosters a trustworthy employment environment.

Ultimately, the Right to Work Share Code simplifies work authorization. It provides a clear path for employers to verify eligibility while offering employees a hassle-free experience. This system is a testament to how technology can enhance regulatory compliance and support a fairer, more seamless employment landscape.

Useful Internal Links

Additional External Resources

SHRM: How to Manually Track Immigration Requirements
This guide from the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) thoroughly examines manual tracking of immigration requirements, including visa statuses and work authorizations. It’s an excellent resource for HR professionals who want to ensure compliance with all relevant laws without relying solely on automated systems. This guide also covers best practices for maintaining accurate records and staying up-to-date with changing regulations.

HR Grapevine: Right to Work Checks – An Employer’s Guide
HR Grapevine offers a detailed employer’s guide to conducting right-to-work checks, including step-by-step instructions and compliance tips. This resource is invaluable for employers who are new to the process or looking to refine their existing approach. It covers the nuances of both traditional document verification and the use of Right to Work Share Codes, helping employers reduce hiring risks and ensure lawful compliance with labor laws.