New RTW rules are coming - 14/12/2020

The new year brings in a new era around Right to Work (RTW) for UK employers when hiring European workers. The Home Office have announced new RTW rules that come into force from the 1st January.

If you actively employ European workers are you prepared?

Do you know what is happening with your existing workers?

Is there anything I can do to help with my existing staff?

From the 1st January 2021 for new European employees I’ve summarised the changes into 3 key points below for the new RTW rules. If:

New RTW rules January 2021

  • The employee has been resident in the UK for more than 5 years they should provide you with an EU settled status code. You, as an employer need to check this with the Home Office online portal
  • The employee has been resident before the 31st December 2020 they should provide you with an EU pre-settled status code. Again, as an employer, you check this on the Home office portal but, make a note of the expiry date.
  • They have arrived after 31st December 2020 and cannot produce an endorsement that you can validate. Then they are required to be sponsored under the new points-based system. However, employers have a duty not to discriminate against EU, EEA or Swiss citizens. You cannot require them to show you their status under the EU Settlement Scheme until after 30 June 2021. Therefore, You’ll need to check a job applicant’s right to work in the same way as now until 30 June 2021.

If you have existing workers who are from Europe then until June 2021 the current guidance remains in force. The employer does not have to police that their staff have applied for settled status. In short, EU/EEA nationals will be able to present their passports and/or ID cards to confirm their right to work in the UK.

Hiring from the 1st July, employers will need to check that EU/EEA nationals have the correct endorsements.

Sounds confusing? It is important that employers check the governments’ guidance to ensure compliance. We can help with our virtual Right to Work training.

What can employers do in lieu of the New RTW rules?

A number of our clients have asked “what do we need to do”?

In the short term the onus is firmly on the employee to prove their status.

For existing staff the Home Office suggests that employers may wish to communicate to their current EU staff informing them about the EU settlement scheme.

Points to note about your staff:

As the scheme is voluntary your staff do not have to apply.

  • They do not need to apply if they are Irish citizens but still can do so.
  • Not required if they have indefinite leave to remain or enter. However they can do so.
  • As an employer you must not discriminate against EU nationals.
  • It is important to note that if you need specific advice regarding the above you should contact an immigration expert.

We have a number of immigration firms who we can recommend.

For those employers who have a need to employ from the EU under the skilled worker scheme then you may wish to apply to become a Sponsor employer. There is a charge to be a Sponsor (from £536 PA) and additionally, a cost per individual worker dependent on the type of visa. For full details about the UK points based immigration system click here.



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