At the moment, we are in something called the “grace period”. New rules are going to come into force from 1 July 2021. Up until that point an employer is allowed to continue to rely on the checks to an EEA or Swiss National’s EU Passport or National Identity Card to evidence their right to work in the UK ie:- not differentiating between those who arrived before we left the European Union or after.

Provided the check is done and the employer doesn’t have any reason to believe that the employee doesn’t have the right to work here, they will have a statutory excuse against the civil fines that can be applied if an employee is subsequently found to be working here illegally (£20,000).

If the EU National has already registered for and achieved Settled Status in the UK under the EU Settlement Scheme where if they have been here for 5 years they qualify, they can evidence their right to work to you, using the Home Office online service ( Not everybody will have taken those steps yet, so in the meantime, old fashioned paperwork can apply.

If the EU National has not achieved Settled Status or obtained pre-Settled Status (which applies to those who haven’t yet been here for 5 years) by the 1 July 2021 they will no longer be entitled to work in the UK from that date, unless they are an Irish National (separate rules apply to those from Ireland who are entitled to work here). Thus employers will need to see evidence of that Settled Status or Pre-Settled Status from 1 July 2021.

Further guidance is expected to be issued for employers in relation to this issue nearer that time.

Refreshing Law Ltd

19 March 2021