The current rules

Following Brexit, there were no changes to the exiting right to work checks and the current guidance remained in place.

EU, EEA and Swiss citizens resident in the UK before 11pm on 31 December 2020 are eligible to apply under the EU Settlement Scheme before the 30 June 2021 deadline.  A sponsor licence is needed to employ EU, EEA and Swiss Citizens who came to work in the UK from 1 January 2021.

There is no requirement to retrospectively check whether an individual has applied through the settlement scheme if they were employed prior to 1 July 2021.

Due to Covid-19 there are changes to right to work checks being carried out in person until 31 August 2021.   You will need to ask employees that you have not phycically seen their docuements to bring them in after this date and update their employee records.


What happens from 1 July 2021?

For employees with a start date from 1 July 2021, you can continue to check those with a British or Irish passport through their passport (or their birth certificate and a document with their NI number on/Passport Card).  You must ensure that you have taken a copy of these documents, and then sign and date them to say you have seen the original to prove that you have carried out a full check.

However, for all other EU, EEA and Swiss Citizens, you will no longer be able to use their passport or national identity card to prove their right to work in the UK.

Instead you will be able to use the online checking service.  To use this service you will need to have the following in order to use this service and check their right to work:

You don’t need to obtain or keep any other copies of documents.  This will provide you with confirmation of an individual’s right to work in the UK and this can be placed upon the employee’s record.

This check should be carried out before employment commences.  By doing this it will provide the company with a statutory excuse against potential illegal employment for the duration of employment.  If a right to work check is not carried out and you are found to have employed an illegal worker, the employer can be subject to a civil penalty or in a worse-case scenario criminal prosecution.  Currently the fine is at £20,000 per employee.


What if I want to recruit employees from the EU?

From the 1st July 2021 any employer who wishes to recruit anyone who does not have the right to work in the UK and needs a visa from the EU then you will need to have a sponsorship licence.  

Take a look at my blog on who will need the sponsor licence, we have just recently helped a client to complete the application and get it expidited as it currently takes 8 weeks as a minimum.


Right work Check

If you have not done so before, you need to ensure that you are checking the right to work from 1st July on all NEW starters – you don’t need to do this retropsectivly.

We have put together a handy FREE guide on how to complete the Right to work Checks which you can obtain by clicking below 



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