Brexit: Employing EU citizens in the UK

News article

Information for employers on employing EU, EEA and Swiss citizens in the UK, covering right to work checks, the EU Settlement Scheme and the UK’s new immigration system

Because of coronavirus (COVID-19) there are temporary changes to the way you can check documents. Read guidance about the adjusted process, including asking for documents digitally, making checks on a video call, and what to do if someone cannot provide any accepted documents.

You’ll need to check a job applicant’s right to work in the same way as now until 30 June 2021.

Until this date job applicants can prove their right to work in the following ways:

If an applicant uses the online checking service this will generate a share code. You must then use the employers’ online service to check their right to work using this share code.

You have a duty not to discriminate against EU, EEA or Swiss citizens. You cannot require them to show you their status under the EU Settlement Scheme until after 30 June 2021.

Irish citizens will continue to prove their right to work in the UK as they do now.

New immigration system from 1 January 2021
A new immigration system will apply to people arriving in the UK from 1 January 2021 and EU citizens moving to the UK to work will need to get a visa in advance.

EU citizens applying for a skilled worker visa will need to show they have a job offer from an approved employer sponsor to be able to apply. If you’re an employer planning to sponsor skilled migrants from 2021, and are not currently an approved sponsor, you should consider getting approved now.

You can find more information on the UK’s new points-based immigration system on GOV.UK.

EU Settlement Scheme
EU, EEA or Swiss citizens and their family members who are living in the UK before 1 January 2021 need to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme to continue living in the UK after 30 June 2021.

You may want to share information with your employees about the EU Settlement Scheme using our employer toolkit.


First published 6 February 2020