Right to Work Share Code: How They Work & Why

share code check definition

A share code check is still a relatively new concept in the UK. Introduced by the government in July of 2021, these checks are very useful to HR to quickly identify the eligibility of a person for a job position. 

But, what is a share code? What does it mean to run a share code check? In this article, we offer all the answers (and then some)...

Key facts

  • A share code check is used to check and prove the eligibility for employment of an individual in the UK.

  • A biometric residence permit number is needed to obtain a share code. 

  • Share codes make employment verification easier for HR.

What Is a Share Code?

A share code is a personal identifier that proves a worker’s immigration status. In practice, an eligible worker will give all their documents and identifying information to the UK government, and their potential workplace can verify the eligibility of employment by checking this share code.

Share codes also show employers what type of work an employee is eligible for and for how long. This is a great benefit to both employees and employers since a share code is an easy way to instantly verify someone’s immigration status without having to go through a lengthy bureaucratic process.

How is a Share Code Used?

Once a potential employee has generated their share code, all they will need is their date of birth and the share code number to prove their right to work in the UK. This allows HR to avoid unnecessary paperwork to verify employment eligibility, as this part has already been completed by the government. 

It is important to check share codes quickly, as they expire after 30 days. This is due to the fact that the government needs to reverify the applicant’s work eligibility after a short period of time. 

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How Does a Share Code Check Work?

There are a few requirements that need to be met in order to be eligible for a share code. To begin the process of obtaining a share code, the potential employee will need a biometric residence permit (BRP) number, which may be called a visa. 

A biometric residence card (BRC) number is also necessary in order to be granted a share code.  Finally, they have to provide their passport or national identity card. After all this work is done, the relevant HR team can use the government database to quickly identify if the individual is eligible for employment or ineligible. 

How to Generate a Right To Work Code

A potential employee can start by heading to the UK government’s website. Once all the documents and identification numbers have been entered correctly, a share code is generated. 

This code can be given to employers, who can then prove a worker’s right to work via the government database. This generated code is also used to see if the potential employee is eligible for that particular role, as there are some restrictions for certain individuals. 

The employer is also able to see for how long somebody is allowed to work in the UK, which can have an impact on the hiring decision (if, for instance, they are only able to work for a short period of time).

Frequently Asked Questions About Share Codes

The newly-introduced share code process has generated a lot of interest across the UK. Whether how to generate them or check them, the following are some of the most common questions asked about share code checks…. 

What Is a Share Code Number?

A share code number is a unique identifier for job seekers to prove to employers that they are allowed to work in the UK. It expires after 30 days and has to be renewed. 

What Is a Share Code Right to Work?

A share code demonstrates to employers that individuals are eligible to work. It will also show the types of jobs potential employees are suitable for and how long they are permitted to work in the UK. 

How Long Do Share Codes Last For?

A share code lasts for 30 days. After the 30 days expire, potential employees will have to generate a new code and reverify their employment eligibility with the UK government. 

How Do I Generate a UK Share Code?

The code will be generated from the UK government’s website. The first steps are to obtain a biometric residence permit (BRP) number and a biometric residence card (BRC) number. After that, the potential employee can be granted a share code.

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Personio is an HR software for UK SMEs and small businesses that can help your company maintain and streamline each and every HR process, including verifying work eligibility by checking share codes issued by the government.

Contact one of our experts team to book a demo today.


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