We seem to spend a good deal of time at the moment waiting for clarity; can we go on holiday? where can we go on holiday? will we be attending that family wedding now or have we been "cut"? Employers are not spared from this waiting game. We have been waiting for some time for guidance from the Government regarding right to work checks for EEA nationals post-Brexit. The wait is over but whether we have the clarity is still........ unclear!
- EEA nationals employed pre 30 June 2021 - continue to check passports/national ID cards to ensure you maintain your statutory excuse against liability. Employers can ask for clarification on settled status through the Home Office online service, although they cannot insist on these details.
- EEA nationals employed post 1 July 2021 - EEA nationals and family members can no longer rely on EEA passports or national identity cards. Employers must request employees' share codes and dates of birth to be able to check their immigration status via the Home Office online system. Such a check will ensure the statutory excuse against liability. Note that Irish citizens will continue unrestricted access to work in the UK from 1 July 2021 provided they have presented their Irish passport or birth certificate and national insurance number.
- EEA nationals employed with no right to work in the UK nor settled status, discovered post 30 June 2021 - if an EEA employee has missed the EU settlement application deadline of 30 June 2021, transitional measures exist until 31 December 2021. Employers do not need to terminate the employment, but provided the employee/worker was employed prior to 30 June 2021, they must make an application for settled status within 28 days of discovery and provide their employer with a Certificate of Application. If they fail to do so, the employer must terminate their employment.
- Do we need to audit the right to work of all our overseas workers? The guidance states "there is no requirement for a retrospective check to be undertaken on EEA citizens who entered into employment up to and including 30 June 2021". The guidance is also keen to point out that any retrospective checks should be non-discriminatory i.e. carried out for all employees. So, the simplest answer is as follows; no you don't NEED to carry out the audit but you may want to do so and, if you do, roll it out without discrimination and with time to spare before the transition period runs out on 31 December 2021.
- When do the Covid-19 concessions on checking documents expire? Temporary adjustments to the process of checking individuals’ right to work in the UK now expire on 31 August 2021 following a Government announcement on 18 June 2021. From 1 September 2021 employers must check original documents or use the Home Office right to work check rather than scans or photographs.
If you would like any further information please do contact me.
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.