The rules relating to right to work checks that need to be undertaken for your existing and prospective EU workforce changed on 1 July 2021. Take a look at our FAQs below to understand how this might affect your business and recruitment strategy.
No – providing the right to work check you undertook was in accordance with Government guidance at the time, there is no need to check if the employee has now applied for settlement under the EUSS.
No – the position is the same as explained in the answer to the first FAQ above.
Even after 1 July 2021, there is no requirement for employers to conduct a retrospective check to see if the employee has applied under the EUSS. As long the right to work check was conducted in line with the guidance at the time the employee started working for you, there is no requirement to carry out a further check.
However, there is nothing to stop an employer, who would prefer to check all EU employees have the right to work from 1 July 2021, from asking EU employees to prove their right to work in the UK as of today i.e. they have applied under the EUSS. However, the Government has made it clear that any employer who chooses to do this must undertake this process for ALL employees. This means that an employer cannot just target EU employees and ask them to provide evidence of their right to work but must ask all employees regardless of their nationality to provide up to date evidence of the right to work.
Employers can no longer accept EU passports or ID cards as valid proof of right to work, except for Irish citizens. The Government guidance which can be found here, recommends the employer ask for one of the following:
Such situations should be handled with care. Firstly, it is important to verify the source of the information. If the employee has informed you themselves, or you have been contacted by Immigration Enforcement, then this will be sufficient. However, rumour or speculation from elsewhere should be treated with caution and we advise seeking legal advice if you are unsure.
If you do receive irrefutable evidence that the employee has not applied under the EUSS, the Government has made it clear that it will not take action against employers. Transitional measures have been put in place to allow the employee time to make an application during which you can continue to employ them. These are:
If you receive a Negative Verification Notice, you must consider whether to continue employing the individual. Legal advice should be taken before deciding.
Up until 5 April 2022, employers are permitted to carry out right to work checks by video call instead.
To carry out the check, employers must:
Records of each check should be retained in a safe and secure location for the duration of the employee’s employment and for a further two years after they stop working.
From 6 April 2022, all right to work checks must be carried in person.
If you have any further questions on changes to the rules on right to work checks, please contact us for more information. We’re happy to help.