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Keeping up to date

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Brexit series #2 – right to work checks

Posted on: January 6th, 2021 by Ginny Hallam

You still need to carry out right to work checks for all EU workers before employing them.

Employing workers illegally can result in civil penalties (up to £20,000 per employee) along with the potential for criminal sanctions, so ensuring you have a process in place to establish employees’ right to work is essential.

How you carry out right to work checks will depend on whether you’re carrying out the checks before or after 30th June 2021.

1st January to 30th June 2021

If you’re carrying out a right to work check on or before 30th June 2021, you can still rely on an EU worker’s passport or ID card as a valid right to work in the UK.

You have a duty not to discriminate against EU workers and cannot require them to show whether they have settled or pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme during this period.

1st July 2021 onwards

From this date you’ll:

  1. no longer be able to accept passports or ID cards as evidence of right to work for EU workers;
  2. need proof of immigration status from either the EU Settlement Scheme or the new immigration system.

Immigration status will be recorded electronically and employers can access the online record here. You’ll need the employee’s date of birth and a single-use code (requested by the employee directly) to access the information.

We’re including a comprehensive Brexit FAQs (and additional supporting documents) on our Intelligent Employment platform to guide you through the employment law implications of Brexit. If you don’t already have access to Intelligent Employment, get in touch to find out more.


This update is accurate on the date it was sent (7 January 2021), but may be subject to change which may or may not be notified to you. This update is not to be taken as advice and you should seek advice if anything contained within affects you or your business.