The Home Office has updated its guidance on right to work checks employers must carry out to include information on changes being implemented from 1 July 2021 onwards.
Right to work checks for EEA citizens from 1 July 2021
As of 1 July 2021, EEA citizens and their family members need to have immigration status in the UK. They can no longer use their EEA passport or national identity cards as proof of their right to work within the UK. Instead, it will be necessary for them to provide evidence of their lawful immigration status in the UK, in alignment with the requirements of other foreign nationals.
The majority of EEA citizens will have the option of proving their right to work using the Home Office online right to work service. Anyone who has successfully applied through the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS) will only be able to demonstrate their right to work in this way. These individuals will provide their date of birth along with their share code to allow employers to check their immigration status online.
Where an individual has been granted ‘Settled Status’, they have a continuous right to work in the UK, but where someone has been given ‘Pre-Settled Status’, this is only for a limited period, and so employers must ensure they carry out follow-up checks at the appropriate time. The online service will state when this follow-up check must take place.
There are certain groups of EEA citizens who will not have status under the EUSS, and they will be required to prove their right to work using alternative documents, which include:
- Frontier Worker Permits
- Service Provider of Switzerland visas
- Outstanding applications to UK EUSS
- Outstanding applications to Crown Dependency EUSS
- EEA citizens with Indefinite Leave to Enter / Remain
- Points-based system visas
Further information on these documents and where they will apply is available within the guidance.
Irish citizens can prove their right to work using their Irish passport, Irish passport card, or their Irish birth or adoption certificate along with an official document that displays their permanent National Insurance (NI) number and their name. This must have been issued by either a government agency or a former employer.
Irish citizens are also able to apply for a frontier worker permit, which can either be issued digitally or as a physical document. This gives the option of using the Home Office online right to work service to prove their right to work.
EEA citizens employed before 30 June 2021 who have not applied to the EUSS by 30 June 2021
There is a process that employers may follow until 31 December 2021 in relation to EEA citizens who were part of their workforce before 30 June 2021, but who have not applied to the EUSS by 30 June 2021. If they were employed prior to the end of the grace period, on 30 June 2021, then employers are not required to cease their employment but must take the following steps:
- Advise the individual that they must make an application to the EUSS within 28 days and provide a Certificate of Application (CoA). If this does not happen, the employment must be terminated
- Once a CoA has been provided, the employer must contact the Home Office Employer Checking Service to confirm the individual has applied
- Where an application has been made, a Positive Verification Notice (PVN) will be supplied – this should be retained, and will expire after a period of six months
- Prior to the PVN’s expiry date, a follow-up check must be carried out with the Employer Checking Service. If the individual has been granted status before the PVN expiry date, they can prove their right to work using the Home Office right to work online service
- If the follow-up check shows the application is pending, a further PVN will be granted for six months, and step four must be repeated. If this follow-up check confirms that the application has been refused, no additional PVN will be issued, and the employment must be terminated
- Employers must maintain accurate records of the checks it carries out and the subsequent actions they took