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Right to Work Checks & the New Immigration System

13 May 2021

Are you prepared?

New recruits:

  • From 1 July 2021, employers will no longer be able to accept an EEA or Swiss passport as evidence of a right to work. Instead employers will need to see proof of immigration status which may be either under the EU Settlement Scheme (‘the Scheme’) or the new points-based immigration system.
  • Employers will need to carefully consider their future recruitment needs, including whether they need to put in place a strategy that enables them to employ staff under the new points-based immigration system. This may include registering to become a licenced sponsor, new systems and processes, an increased budget for the additional costs and extended time scales for recruitment.

Existing Staff

  • If you employ EU citizens who have lived in the UK lawfully for:

– 5 years (by 31 December 2020) they will need to apply for “settled status” to stay indefinitely under the Scheme;

– less than 5 years (by 31 December 2020) they will need to apply for “pre-settled status”, until they have the necessary 5 years’ to obtain settled status, to continue living in the UK  after 30 June 2021.

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  • The deadline, for employees submitting applications for pre-settled status and settled status, is 30 June 2021. Although employers can raise awareness of the Scheme, they should not ask existing employees whether they have applied prior to the deadline.
  • The current position is that there will be no requirement to undertake retrospective checks on EU citizens employed before 30 June 2021. However, if an employer is found to be knowingly employing an illegal worker, this is of course a criminal offence.

A further update on becoming a licenced sponsor will follow shortly but if you have any queries in the meantime please don’t hesitate to contact us.