are-you-looking-for-a-nanny

Ensure your nanny is legally entitled to work in the UK

All UK employers are required by law to make basic checks on every person they intend to employ in order to establish that they have a right to work in the UK. These checks must be carried out on all potential employees whether or not you think they have a right to work in the UK by making assumptions based on their appearance or accent. You could face prosecution under the Race Relations Act 1976 and an unlimited fine if you do not make the required checks on all potential employees.

The information below is intended as a guide only. For full details of the act please refer to the Home Office. You can either call the employer’s helpline on 0845 010 6677 or visit the website on www.ind.homeoffice.gov.uk.

Step 1

Ask all potential employees to provide you with original documents as follows:  One document from List A; OR two documents in the combinations of List B

List A: documents which provide the statutory excuse if produced alone

  • A passport showing that the holder is a British citizen, or has a right of abode in the UK
  • A document showing that the holder is a national of an EEA country. This must be a national passport or identity card
  • A residence permit issued by the Home Office to a national from an EEA country
  • A passport or other document issued by the Home Office, which has an endorsement stating that the holder has a current right of residence in the UK as a family member of a national from an EEA country who is resident in the UK
  • A passport or other travel document endorsed to show that the holder can stay indefinitely in the UK, or has no time limit on their stay
  • A passport or other travel document endorsed to show that the holder can stay in the UK and allows the holder to do the type of work you are offering if they do not have a work permit
  • An Application Registration Card issued by the Home Office to an asylum seeker stating that the holder is permitted to take employment

List B: documents which provide the excuse if produced together in the combinations shown below

First Combination

  • A document giving the person’s permanent NI number and name. This could be a P45, P60; or a National Insurance card.

Along with one of the following documents:

  • A full birth certificate issued in the UK, which includes the names of the holder’s parents; OR
  • A birth certificate issued in the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man or Ireland; OR
  • A certificate of registration or naturalisation stating that the holder is a British citizen; OR
  • A letter issued by the Home Office to the holder which indicates that the person named in it can stay indefinitely in the UK, or has no time limit on their stay; OR
  • An Immigration Status Document issued by the Home Office with an endorsement indicating that the person named in it can stay indefinitely in the UK, or has no time limit on their stay; OR
  • A letter issued by the Home Office to the holder which indicates that the person named in it can stay in the UK, and this allows them to do the type of work you are offering; OR
  • An Immigration Status Document issued by the Home Office to the holder with an endorsement indicating that the person named in it can stay in the UK, and this allows them to do the type of work you are offering

Second Combination

  • A work permit or other approval to take employment that has been issued by Work Permits UK

Along with one of the following documents:

  • A passport or other travel document endorsed to show that the holder can stay in the UK and can take the work permit employment in question; OR
  • A letter issued by the Home Office to the holder confirming that the person named in it can stay in the UK and can take the work permit employment in question.

Step 2

Make the following checks to verify that the potential employee is the rightful holder of the documents and that they are entitled to do the type of work you are offering:

  • Check any photographs to ensure they are consistent with the appearance of the applicant
  • Check dates of birth are consistent with the appearance of your potential employee
  • Check expiry dates have not been passed
  • Check any United Kingdom Government stamps or endorsements to see if the potential employee is able to do the type of work you are offering
  • If the potential employee gives you two documents with different names, you should ask for a further document to explain this, i.e. marriage certificate, divorce document or statutory declaration

Step 3

Keep a photocopy or scan (using only the Write Once Read Many/Worm software package*) of the following parts of the documents shown to you:

  • The front cover and all of the pages which give your potential employee’s personal details. In particular, you should copy the page with the photograph and the page which shows his or her signature; and
  • Any page containing a United Kingdom Government stamp or endorsement, which allows your potential employee to do the type of work you are offering

If the person you wish to employ produces a document from List A the “statutory excuse” is provided for the whole of their employment with you. A document from List B indicates that the individual only has limited leave to remain in the UK and therefore you must repeat the document check at least every 12 months.

If you knowingly employ someone without the right to work in the UK you are committing an offence that carries a new penalty of up to two years in prison and/or an unlimited fine. Failing to establish the statutory excuse by not carrying out the checks also carries a punitive penalty of up to £10,000 per illegal worker.


*Please refer to www.ind.homeoffice.gov.uk for more information on this software.