Rights to work checks are changing – FAQs

Date Added 19.05.21

Rights to work checks are changing from 1st July 2021.  If you are an employer of Nationals from the European Economic Area (EEA nationals), it is important to understand how this affects you, your business and your employees.  Ahead of these changes coming into effect Tollers Employment Team answer some of the main questions they are being asked in regard to these important changes.

Who counts as an EEA national?

An EEA National is anyone who is an EU national, or a citizen of Iceland, Liechtenstein or Norway. Swiss citizens are also included within the scope of these changes.

What are right to work checks?

They are checks made against new employees to determine whether or not they have the legal right to work in the UK. All employers have a responsibility to check their employees’ right to work.

Do I need to conduct right to work checks for all staff?

You must carry out  checks for all employees, regardless of their nationality, before employment commences. If you only carry out right to work checks on EEA nationals, or other non-EEA individuals, this could be considered discriminatory.

You don’t need to carry out right to work checks on non-employees i.e. agency workers or contractors.

When do the changes come into force?

The changes for employers do not come into effect until 1 July 2021. Until 30 June 2021, you should continue to carry out the same checks for all new employees as usual, that being verifying their passport or national ID card.

What is changing?

From 1 July 2021, employers recruiting EEA nationals will have to check whether that individual has either settled status or pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme, or has a visa to work in the UK. If they do, they should provide you with a unique code to enable you to log into the online government portal to confirm their immigration status. You must keep records of your checks on the portal including the date the checks were made.

You will not be able to solely rely upon a passport or national ID card to verify an individual’s right to work from 1 July 2021 onwards.

For British citizens, a passport, or some other form of official ID, for example a birth or adoption certificate, together with an official government document evidencing their national insurance number, should still suffice.

Do the changes apply to me?

If you currently recruit or are likely to recruit EEA Nationals, then the changes to the right to work checks will apply to you.

If you have any questions regarding these new changes, what it means for you and your business or for further information on how Tollers Employment team can assist you…talk to Tollers on 01604 248558. We’re here for you.

Helpful links:  Right to work checks: an employer’s guide – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)


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