Right to Work Checks for EU Citizens – Common Sense Prevails

27 Feb 2019

Employers are asking me if they’ll have to start making right to work checks for EU citizens after 29 March.

I’m pleased to clarify that in the short term the answer is, no.

If the UK withdraws from the EU by agreement, the situation will be determined by the agreement. The current draft agreement won’t require checks until after 30 June 2021. I don’t foresee this changing in an amended agreement.

In the event of a “no deal” Brexit the situation is covered by a policy statement recently issued by the government which includes this:

12. Until all resident EU citizens and their family members who are eligible for the EU Settlement Scheme have had a reasonable opportunity to apply for and be granted status, which will be by the end of December 2020, we will not ask employers or other third parties, such as landlords, to start distinguishing between EU citizens who were a resident before exit and post-exit arrivals.

13. Once the new border and immigration system is introduced from 2021, employers and others will need to check EU citizens’ status using the Home Office’s Digital Status Checker, but not retrospectively. Until 2021, EU citizens will continue to be able to evidence their rights to work and to rent property using a passport or national identity card and non-EU family members will use a biometric residence document.

As previously noted, the message to our EU friends is, you are still warmly welcome here.

James Humphery is a senior Employment and Immigration Solicitor here at Trethowans, with years of experience navigating businesses through all the potential complications of employment law. Don’t hesitate to contact James on 01722 426915 with your own legal requirements.