​Brexit and the end of free movement.         What all employers need to know!


​Brexit and the end of free movement. What all employers need to know!

Posted on 31 August 2021

Aldwych Consulting have partnered with a specialist recruitment law firm to provide our clients with key updates on employment regulations.

EU Nationals who entered the UK before 31st December 2020.

In most cases, EU Nationals will have already applied for pre-settled or settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme in order to continue living and/or working In the UK long term.

The deadline for applying for this scheme was 30th June 2021.

There are a few exceptions to the Settlement Scheme. For example, those with indefinite leave to remain and those who are Irish nationals.

What determines Settled or Pre-settled status?

Settled status:

•5 years or more continuous residence in the UK.

•Resident in the UK by 31st December 2020.

•Applied for the scheme by the 30th June 2021.

•Indefinite status which lapses after 5 consecutive years absence from the UK.

•EU nationals who hold settled status can apply for citizenship once they have held this status for 12 months.

Pre-settled status:

•Less than 5 years continuous residence in the UK.

•Resident in the UK by 31st December 2020.

•Applied for the scheme by 30th June 2021.

•5-year grant which lapses after 2 years absence from the UK.

•People who hold pre-settled status cannot apply directly for citizenship.

EU Nationals who entered the UK after 31st December 2020

Individuals who entered the UK after the 31st December 2020 will not have been eligible to apply to the Settlement Scheme. In order to live and work in the UK, they will have needed to apply under the new Immigration Rules which came into effect from the 1st January 2021 for EU Nationals.

In many cases, employers will need to sponsor EU nationals under the Skilled Worker category and they will require a sponsor licence. Employers will need to allow time for the EU Nationals to submit their immigration applications before they are able to commence employment and note that sponsoring people through this route can be quite costly.

Right to work checks

It is important for all employers to complete right to work checks on prospective employees before they start work. These checks are vital to avoid a potential civil penalty of up to £20,000 if an illegal worker is discovered in your organisation.

Manual checks on documents must be conducted for any potential new employee. You must confirm their proof of ID and permanent right to work in the UK. Employers must check them in the presence of the holder in person.

What employers need to do

•Comply with government guidance on how to carry out right to work checks.

•Keep records of checks carried out for the duration of the employment and for 2 years afterwards.

•Comply with sponsor duties if applicable.

•Ensure offer letters and employment contracts for all employees makes it clear that employment is conditional on the person having the right to work and the employee providing the correct evidence.

Common Questions

Can an employer rely on an expired passport to demonstrate the right to work?

-Only British and Irish passports can be expired. There is no limit for how long they have been expired.

Can we delegate the right to work checks to a third party such as a recruitment agency?

-No, you cannot delegate the checks. The liability falls with the employer.

Can we rely on a software/onboarding platform to meet these obligations?

-No, you must carry out the checks manually.

Do employers really need to see original documents?

-Yes, as of September 1st, in person confirmation of documents is required.

Right to work checks: an employer's guide - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

Share this article

Job Alerts