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I'm in the UK and I was recently offered a job.

When I went for an interview, they asked for a form of ID and my National Insurance number. I took my passport and a previous payslip with my NI number (I believe I was issued a NI card, but I couldn't find it). I also made photocopies of said documents because they wanted to keep them in their records, but I blacked out information I found unnecessary, such as my salary on the old payslip and a long code on my passport, which included the passport number (in the MRZ). I handed both the original documents and the photocopies to the interviewer, and she kept the photocopies.

It's been several days since I've been given a verbal offer, which I accepted, and today I found out that HR is demanding unredacted copies of the documents to proceed. I asked the hiring manager if things like salary information were something that HR needed, and she said "yes".

I didn't continue to question the situation because kicking up a fuss could easily lead to the offer being withdrawn, and I do need to eat.

A practical way to avoid the salary information is to find my NI card, but I actually see that information as less important, anyway, than passport reference codes etc.

So I'm just wondering: are they really justified in asking for such information (remember, they already have my personal details from my passport, including photo, and my NI number)?

Update:

I talked to HR, and there seems to have been some miscommunication between them and the hiring manager, since the only thing they actually wanted from the payslip was the tax code (not salary information). They still wanted the full passport page (for compliance reasons, apparently). Btw, I ended up taking the job.

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    Have you got your tax coding letter or any other correspondence with your NI on ? – Neuromancer Nov 22 '18 at 1:21
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    @Neuromancer, not really sure. The tax code also appears on the payslip, but to be fair, I can't remember if I blacked it out as well. – Ratler Nov 22 '18 at 1:34
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    "I asked the hiring manager if 'things like salary information' were [needed]" - Why not ask exactly what information is needed? Redacting a few things seems reasonable, so I think they need to say exactly which parts they need to know. And you need to ask more clearly "which specific parts of the documents do you need to see?" – Brandin Nov 22 '18 at 7:16
  • Is telling them that you don't want//need the job that much an option? If so, tell your manager, not HR, and see if he will tell him that he needs you more than they need that intrusive information. – Mawg Nov 22 '18 at 8:28
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    Correct me if im worng but 99% of employers will need to see your physical passport on the day you start anyway so its pointless blanking that out. – UIO Nov 22 '18 at 11:51
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Don't give them the information about your salary. They don't require it, they aren't allowed to require it and you definitely don't need the job enough that you have to bend towards HR before you even get the job.

The passport information should definitely be a full unedited page with any relevant visas on following pages.

Can they protect you as an employee better with your passport number? Sure. That might be viable information to give them after they offer you the role, but the salary data is definitely none of their business. You wouldn't give them your business contacts for other smart applicants, why would you give them something that can be held over your head as well like salary?

I personally see this as a huge red flag, but I've never had problems searching for a job, it might be an inconvenience for others in the face of a promise of a new job. If anyone wants to dig to find about my past or current information, they are allowed to but I won't facilitate it.

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Employers in the Uk are required to prove an employee has the right to work in the UK, and a passport with either a work visa or an EU passport is proof of that, so I see nothing wrong with them holding a full copy of your passport details in order to secure that evidence.

They also can get your old salary from your P45 (or can get it from HMRC as part of their calculations), which also includes your NI number.

So I wouldn't see any issues with them requesting unpredicted copies of the documents you have supplied. I expect you can supply other documents if you really want, but they have to fulfil the same role.

  • Not sure they are meant to hold the information long term though - just see it . And you can always say are sorry haven't got my P45 yet - that's the document you get on leaving employment. – Neuromancer Nov 22 '18 at 1:19
  • Being able to find something out is not a justification though: would I be justified asking for your address if I'm able to follow you home and find it out anyway? Also, what I'm trying to explain in the question is that I think their requirements to prove my right of work should have already been met with my passport showing I don't require a work permit. – Ratler Nov 22 '18 at 1:31
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    @Ratler yeah, thats not really the same sort of thing - with regard to the entitlement to work, the employer has to be able to show to the relevant authorities when they ask for proof, not just at the start of your employment, so keeping a record of your proof of British citizenship is perfectly fine, as is any information on your P45. Thats information your employer is entitled to have as part of their partnership with HMRC in the PAYE system. – Moo Nov 22 '18 at 4:49
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    @Neuromancer and if you dont have the P45, the company can ask HMRC for the same details and they can store them for as long as they like against your employee record as part of your employment. Its trivial for an employer to work out your previous salary, so if the OP is afraid of being caught out in a lie then that lie is going to unravel anyway if they are a PAYE employee. – Moo Nov 22 '18 at 4:51
  • @Moo just say you don't have a p45 and you new employer will use the emergency code – Neuromancer Nov 22 '18 at 20:32
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HR does not need your old salary information and shouldn’t have it. It is useful if payroll has your P45 because they can then calculate your tax correctly (without it, they will have to withhold too much tax, so if you are Ok with that then payroll doesn’t need your P45 either). Your previous salary is private information so payroll must not give it to anyone else in the company. Your new salary is of course also private and must only be given to people who need to know it.

I’m quite sure HMRC won’t hand your information out to anyone.

The P45 contains your pay until you left the previous company. That is often not your salary because it will contain redundancy payments.

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