Right to Work Compliance in the wake of BREXIT

September 22, 2021
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Right to Work legislation has previously been subject to change; on each occasion the logic embedded within Rightcheck has been auto-updated to enable recruiters to continue to conduct compliant checks in accordance with the prevailing legislation. If you are reliant on approaches other than Rightcheck, you should be aware of the following in the wake of BREXIT:

Following the UK’s official departure from the EU (effective 31st January 2020), we are now officially in the transition period. As far as Right to Work checks are concerned there are no fundamental changes arising from BREXIT. It continues to be mandatory that you have a compliant check in place for all your current employees, including all EU citizens. You must also continue to conduct checks on all prospective/new employees, again including EU citizens.

The UK Government has however provided an update on the position of EU citizens and the implications for employers. This outlines your obligations as an employer as follows:

  • There is no legal obligation for you to communicate the EU Settlement Scheme; however you may wish to direct employees to the information that the government is providing
  • It is the responsibility of the individual to make an application to the EU Settlement Scheme. There is no requirement for the individual to inform you, as their employer, that they have applied or the outcome of their application. Likewise, you should not check that an employee has applied
  • You have a duty not to discriminate against EU citizens in light of the UK’s decision to leave the EU as both a prospective and current employer. You cannot make an offer of employment, or continued employment, dependent on an individual having made an application
  • You should not interpret information on the EU Settlement Scheme provided by the government and you must be careful not to provide immigration advice for your employees, unless you are qualified to do so

The deadline for applications to the EU Settlement Scheme is 30 June 2021. With 2.5M EU citizens having now applied for settled status, this has repercussions for the way in which employers must conduct Right to Works checks. We recommend you take steps to ensure your recruitment staff what to do know when presented with an ‘online share code’; the Home Office has produced an ‘employer’s toolkit’ that can be referenced. Rightcheck logic already caters for this share code scenario, that employers can encounter today.

What has also been stated by the Government is that a new skills-based immigration system ‘Australian-style points-based’ will be in place by the end of this year (2020). Further details are awaited, including how it will cater for EU citizens seeking to live work in the UK after the EU Settlement Scheme deadline.

Rightcheck will continuously monitor UK policy statements and legislative changes and strive to keep you informed.