Working Rights in the UK – Important Changes

By Australasian Recruitment Company – June 24, 2021

Working Rights in the UK – Important Changes

Working Rights in the UK – Important Changes

There are some important changes approaching around working rights in the UK which employers will need to be aware of. The most widely publicised of these is the approach of the EU Settlement Scheme deadline on 30 June, but employers also need to be aware of the upcoming return of physical right to work checks on 1 September, as this will have a major impact on recruitment and onboarding processes.

EU Settlement Scheme

EU, EEA or Swiss citizens who were resident in the UK by 31 December 2020 need to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme to continue living and working in the UK beyond 30 June 2021.

There are now less than 10 days left to apply for the scheme, so time is running out for eligible applicants to secure their rights in UK law. Applicants should apply as soon as possible at so they can continue to work, study, and access benefits and free healthcare in the UK after 30 June 2021.

From 1 July 2021, employers hiring EU, EEA and Swiss citizens granted status under the EU Settlement Scheme will need to obtain evidence of their rights in the UK with their digital immigration status, rather than their passport or ID card.  This can be done by an employee obtaining a share code and providing this to their potential employer who will then check the details using

Right to Work Scheme COVID-19 Adjusted Checks Update

Following the UK Government’s announcement on 14 June 2021 to delay the lifting of the remaining COVID restrictions until 19 July 2021, the Home Office have decided to push back the date for the resumption of physical document checks to 1 September 2021, which has come as a welcome relief for employers as this new deadline will ensure they have sufficient time to put measures in place to enable face-to-face document checks.

From 1 September 2021, employers must check the documents as set out in the right to work checks employer’s guide,  This means that when carrying out a document check, employers must be in possession of the original documents and can no longer accept a scanned copy or a photo of original documents, as this will not provide a defence against a penalty.

Alternatively, employers can use the Home Office online right to work checking tool via but this service can only be used to check employees with a current Biometric Residence Permit or Card, status under the EU Settlement scheme, or the points based immigration system, it cannot be used for British Passport holders. A check of the documents would be done via video and then this service used to obtain right to work information direct from Home Office by the employee providing a share code.

There is no requirement to carry out retrospective checks on employees who had a COVID-19 adjusted check between 30 March 2020 and 31 August 2021 (inclusive).

There is an argument the Association of Professional Staffing Companies (APSCo) are pursuing  that the return to physical checks is unnecessary due to the clear success of digital checking, and equally physical checks will put British Passport holders at a disadvantage in the job market as the online tool cannot be used for British Passport holders. This is a case Australasian Recruitment Company will be following closely in order to keep our clients up to date.



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