I know, it’s as bad as Brexit, which is mentioned only because it’s Brexit uncertainties which will see a flurry of activity with regard to Right to Work changes.
What is a Right to Work check?
These were introduced in the Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Act 2006 which is why it took a lot of employers a while to realise they were there. Employers face a civil penalty (a fine to you and me) if they employ someone whose immigration status does not permit them to work in the UK. You are exempt from any fine if you can show you completed certain prescribed checks. The Home Office provides extensive guidance on the process.
How does it currently work for EU citizens?
At present EU law provides free movement of persons between member states and they need only a passport or a national identity card to meet Right to Work checks.
In mid-August, the new Home Secretary, Priti Patel floured the idea that with a no deal Brexit, freedom of movement, one of the cornerstones of the European Union, would be brought to an end at midnight on October 31st. However, by early September, after legal advice, these plans were torn up. Instead, they decided to unpick the current rules on freedom of movement by adopting “ visible changes “ to the system.
The proposals for EU citizens after exit day.
The Brexit date will be our exit day from the EU and these proposals will be effective from then. On 4th of September the government announced a European Temporary Leave to Remain Scheme ( Euro TLR Scheme ) under which EU citizens could move to the UK after Brexit day would be able to apply for a 36 month Temporary Immigration status. This would include citizens from Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland. For a transitional period after Brexit until 31st December 2020, EU citizens and their family members will be able to live, study and work as they do now. EU citizens who do so but wish to stay beyond 2020 will need to apply via the Euro TLR Scheme. The government has said the scheme will be a simple online application process, with identity, security and criminality checks. Successful applications will run from the date the leave to remain is granted.
These proposed changes apply to those EU citizens arriving after Brexit day.
EU citizens already here.
There is no change to the current Settlement Scheme in Operation. There will be a new points based system of immigration which should be introduced from January 2021, details of which will be released by government. Until 2020, the current checks will be the same, passport or ID card. They will also be able to use their digital status under the Settlement Scheme. This will change in 2021 under the new scheme, when a valid immigration status will be required, not just a passport or ID card.
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