Employing EEA citizens after the UK leaves the EU

There will be no change to the way EU, EEA and Swiss citizens are able to prove their right to work until 1 January 2021, and this remains the same if the UK leaves the EU without a deal. Please note that Irish nationals will continue to have the right to work in the UK under the Common Travel Area arrangements after the Brexit.

All the UK employers have to conduct the right to work checks on all prospective employees to comply with the codes of practice on the prevention of illegal working and the avoidance of unlawful discrimination.

Employing EEA citizens

UK employers do not need to check whether their existing employees have status under the EU Settlement Scheme. This applies whether the UK leaves the EU with or without a deal.

The Home Office has produced an employer toolkit to support the UK organisations in reassuring EEA citizens and assisting them apply to the ‘settled’ or ‘pre-settled’ status under the EU Settlement Scheme. The employer toolkit includes:

  • An introduction for employers
  • A full EU Settlement Scheme briefing pack
  • Videos
  • Information leaflets
  • Social media assets
  • Posters

 

The UK employers should conduct right to work checks on EU, EEA and Swiss citizens in the same way as now until 1 January 2021. The EU, EEA and Swiss citizens are able to show a passport or national identity card to prove their right to work in the UK during this period.

The UK organisations can also check their EU, EEA and Swiss employees status through the Home Office online service once they have provide with their date of birth and unique share code, and the employers need to keep a record of this check.

Employing EU, EEA and Swiss citizens if the UK leaves the EU with a deal

If the UK leaves the EU with a deal, the right to work of EU, EEA and Swiss citizens who arriving in the UK before 31 December 2020 will have until 30 June 2021 to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme to ensure they continue to have lawful status in the UK.

EU, EEA and Swiss citizens arriving in the UK after 1 January 2021 will need to apply to the Home Office for status under the new immigration system.

Employing EU, EEA and Swiss citizens if the UK leaves the EU without a deal

If the UK leaves the EU without a deal, EU, EEA and Swiss citizens are able to apply for the ‘settled’ or ‘pre-settled’ status under the EU Settlement Scheme before 31 December 2020.

After the UK leaves the EU, the free movement of citizens will end but there will be a transition period until 1 January 2021. EU, EEA and Swiss citizens arriving for the first time in the UK during this period will be able to work for 3 months or less at a time without needing to apply for status. EU, EEA and Swiss nationals who intend to work in the UK for longer than 3 months during this period will need to apply for European temporary leave to remain. They will then be able to live and work in the UK for 36 months from the date their leave is granted.

Contact Our Immigration Team

For expert advice regarding any aspect of the EU immigration, please contact our immigration team on 0203 384 3075 or complete our enquiry form below.