Now that the UK has left the European Union, freedom of movement of people no longer applies and a new points based system has been implemented to manage immigration. There are a number of actions that employers are recommended to undertake.
The Home Office has now confirmed that changes to the Right to Work checks that were introduced as a temporary measure in response to the coronavirus panedemic will now end on 20 June (not Sunday 16 May as originally planned).
Whilst employers are currently able to conduct checks via video calls and use scanned copies rather than original documents, from 21 June 2021 they must either:
• check the applicant’s original documents, or
• check the applicant’s right to work online using their share code.
Within this there are two groups to consider, those who will have a right to work through the settlement scheme (those resident before 31 December 2020) and those relying on a visa (i.e. individuals newly arriving from the 1 January 2021). Note Irish citizens, based on historic agreement that pre-dates UK – EU arrangements, retain a right to work in the UK and are not subjected to the new rules detailed below.
It has been confirmed that employers will not need to carry out retrospective checks on employees verified between 30 March 2020 and 21 June 2021.
See the Latest Government Guidance on Right to Work checks here
You can access guidance on Hiring Overseas Workers in the FIS Employment and Workforce Management Toolkit here
Guidance for employing foreign workers
Build UK has produced a flowchart to help members through the process of employing a foreign worker. The flowchart covers the EU Settlement Scheme, which closes for applications on 30 June 2021, the Points‐Based Immigration System and the Skilled Worker Visa, which is required from 1 July 2021, and provides links to further guidance on a particular area if required.
On 20 May, FIS will be joined by experts who will provide guidance on the right to work checks to ensure that your workforce is legal to work in the UK. Employing EU workers (excluding the Republic of Ireland) who have not applied through the settlement scheme by the 30 June will not be legal workers and this may have serious implications for your business.