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Recruiting EU Staff

updated
February 16, 2021
Published on:
February 16, 2021

Q. Following Brexit, what is the employer’s position on recruiting staff from the EU?

Before bringing staff into the UK, you need to ensure that they have the legal right to work here. The government has an online tool to help you establish their eligibility: https://www.gov.uk/legal-right-work-uk.

In light of the UK leaving the EU on 31 December 2020 an implementation period was agreed. This has meant that there will be no changes to right to work checks in the UK until after 30 June 2021. As such, EU citizens can continue to provide an EU authorised document until this date.  

The Home Office has also confirmed that employers will not be required to carry out retrospective checks on current employees. If the employee had the right to work in the UK at the time they were employed then you will not be required to carry out this check again, unless time-limited, even when the rules change.

After this date, the list of acceptable documents, which can be found here - https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/right-to-work-checklist - will change. As such, this list will be updated on or around 30 June 2021. At this time, if the employee does not have an authorised document that will provide them with the right to work in the UK then you can choose to obtain a sponsor licence. Further information on obtaining visa sponsorship can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/uk-visa-sponsorship-employers.

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