Right to work checks - what has changed

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17/06/2021

What has changed in relation to Right to work checks?

The Government has provided updated guidance on right to work checks from 1 July 2021. You can find the guidance here.

The guidance confirms that all EU, EEA and Swiss citizens can continue to use their passport or national identity cards to provide their right to work until 30 June 2021. However, from 1 July 2021, EU, EEA or Swiss citizens will need to provide evidence of lawful immigration status in the UK and a passport will not be sufficient. For those who have applied under the EU Settlement Scheme, their evidence will be through a digital status.

From 1st of July 2021, employers will need to check EU, EEA and Swiss citizens' right to work for new recruits online using a share code and their date of birth (details of this can be found here). Employers can also check someone's original documents instead if the individual does not have a UK immigration status that can be shared digitally (details of this can be found here).

Are Retrospective checks required on those who commenced work between 1 January 2021 and 31 June 2021?

The guidance also confirms that employers do not need to check the status of any EU, EEA or Swiss citizen retrospectively if they were employed before 1 July 2021.

Is there guidance for employers on what to do about those who have applied late to the EU Settlement Scheme?

The Home Office will provide further guidance to explain what employers should do if they employed someone before 31 December 2020 and they haven’t applied to the EU Settlement Scheme by the deadline of 30 June 2021.   

What are the consequences of not carrying out right to work checks?

As a reminder, employers can face a civil penalty if they employ an illegal worker and have not carried out a correct right to work check. The government has confirmed that as long as the correct process in force was followed (whether the temporary COVID-19 regime or the normal right to work check) an employer should have a defence to a civil penalty.