UPDATED GUIDANCE ON RIGHT TO WORK CHECKS FOR EU NATIONALS – 18 JUNE 2021
All employers in the UK have a responsibility to prevent illegal working. They do this by conducting simple right to work checks before employing someone. The Guidance was updated a few days ago and provides further clarification for checks that need to be carried out on EU nationals from 1 July 2021.
Employers are still permitted to carry out right to work checks until 30 June, as they did previously for EU nationals (i.e take a copy of their passport or ID) and not confirm that they have applied for or have obtained leave under the EU Settlement Scheme.
From 1 July 2021, EEA citizens and their family members require immigration status in the UK. They can no longer rely on an EEA passport or national identity card, which only confirms their nationality, to prove their right to work. They will be required to provide evidence of lawful immigration status in the UK, in the same way as other foreign nationals.
From 1 July 2021, the majority of EEA citizens will prove their right to work using the Home Office online right to work service. There will, however, be some cohorts of EEA citizens who will not have status under the EUSS. They will evidence their right to work using specified documents if they cannot use the home office online system.
EEA citizens, and their family members, who have made an application to the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS) up to and including 30 June 2021 and have not yet been granted status, can continue to live their life in the UK as now and maintain a right to work until their application is finally determined. This includes pending the outcome of any appeal against a decision to refuse status.
From 1 July 2021, EEA citizens with an outstanding application to the EUSS made up to and including 30 June 2021 will be issued with either:
• An EUSS Certificate of Application (CoA), or;
• An EUSS email confirming receipt of their application
Increasingly, the CoA will be issued digitally, enabling the individual to use the online right to work service to evidence their right to work. In the first instance, you should check with the individual to see if they can provide you with a share code. This will mean that you can check their right to work immediately rather than having to contact the Employer Checking Service (ECS). The online service provides confirmation of their right to work and advises when a follow-up check is required.
However, there may be instances where the individual has only been issued with a paper CoA or email confirming receipt of their EUSS application. In these circumstances, employers must request a right to work check from the ECS.