The following is based on the revised Appendix B guidance issued by the UK Home Office.
Free movement ended on 1st January 2021.
This means EEA and Swiss nationals (and their families) will need to qualify for status under either the new points-based Immigration system or the EU Settlement Scheme.
The Citizen’s Rights (Application Deadline and Temporary Protection) (EU Exit) Regulations 2020, commonly referred to as the Grace Period Statutory Instrument, is secondary legislation introduced to implement the UK’s obligations in respect of citizens’ rights under the Withdrawal Agreement, and corresponding agreements, with EEA EFTA states and Switzerland (“the Agreements”).
For those EEA and Swiss nationals (EEA nationals) who are lawfully resident in the UK by virtue of free movement law prior to the end of the transition period (31 December 2020), and for their relevant family members, their existing residence rights in the UK are saved. Provision is also made for those EEA nationals and their family members who are not physically in the UK at that point in time but are to be treated as resident in the UK under the Agreements.
EEA nationals who have status under the EU Settlement Scheme, or status under the points- based immigration system, can choose to evidence their right to work using the Home Office online service.
Alternatively, they can continue to use their either their passport and national identity cards as evidence of their right to work until 30 June 2021.
Employer’s cannot insist on use of the online service or discriminate against those who wish to use their passport or national identity card.
Checks after the EU-Exit grace period
There is no requirement for retrospective checks to be undertaken on EEA or Swiss nationals who were employed on or before 30 June 2021.
Employers will maintain a continuous statutory excuse against a civil penalty if the initial right to work checks were undertaken in line with the Home Office guidance.
Should an EEA or Swiss national be unable to provide you with any acceptable documents because the person has an outstanding application with us for status under the EU Settlement Scheme, or the new points-based immigration system you will need to contact the Employer Checking Service to establish a statutory excuse.
Irish nationals will continue to have the right to work and prove their right to work as they do now, for example using their passport.
New guidance for 1st July onwards checks
New guidance on how to conduct right to work checks on EEA nationals after 30 June 2021 will be provided in advance of this date.