EU citizens lost their automatic right to work in the UK on 1st January 2021

What documents are now required by EU citizens to confirm their right to work in the UK?  The Home Office has confirmed that employers at present have no right to demand that EU citizens apply under the EU settlement scheme and share their outcome (due to conflicts around discrimination), and confirm that a copy of an EU passport remains perfectly acceptable. However, this contradicts the Prevention of Illegal Working Regulations which confirm that any copy taken after 1 Jan 2021 would not confirm a lawful right to work (as it doesn’t confirm arrival prior to this date). In addition, any EU national in the UK after 1 July 2021 without status under the EUSS would be here illegally, even if resident before 1 January, and thus an employer would face a penalty for employing an illegal worker. We are therefore advising UK employers to gently “suggest” their workers obtain and share their status before the end of June, and have this “encouragement” become more forceful nearer the time – when we expect the guidance to be clearer. In the run up to the end of June companies may decide that they must have EUSS evidence on file, and terminate employment if this is not forthcoming. In order to employ EU citizens arriving in the UK after 1st January 2021, a business will need to apply for or have a sponsor licence. We are happy to advise on obtaining the sponsor licence! For more information and to enquire about Sponsor licence, please contact us on contact@sterling-law.co.uk 020 7822 8535

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