Last reviewed 8 July 2021

In advance of changes which were introduced on 1 July to the way citizens from European Economic Area (EEA) countries must demonstrate their right to work in the UK, the Home Office issued new guidance for employers.

This 60-page document can be found here and sets out the specific actions they can take to prevent liability for a civil penalty.

It explains the position with regard to workers who have been recruited at various times including October 2013 when the first Full guide for employers on preventing illegal working in the UK was published.

Since 28 January 2019, employers have been able to rely on the Home Office online service, view a job applicant's right to work to discharge their responsibilities under the Immigration Asylum and Nationality Act 2006.

From 1 July, EEA nationals will no longer be able to demonstrate their right to work by presenting their EU passport or ID card.

Changes in the latest guidance

The new document includes some significant changes including:

  • to the way EEA citizens will prove their right to work in the UK from 1 July (in Annex B)

  • to the acceptable document list to remove the requirement of EEA passports, national identity cards and specified EEA Regulations documents, which only confirmed the individual’s nationality or that they were exercising EEA Treaty Rights from 1 July 2021

  • to the acceptable document list from 1 July 2021 to include an Irish passport and passport card, a document issued by the Crown Dependencies Jersey, Guernsey, or the Isle of Man, which has been verified as valid by the Home Office Employer Checking Service and a frontier worker permit issued under regulation 8 of the Citizens' Rights (Frontier Workers) (EU Exit) Regulations 2020

  • to the temporary adjusted right to work checking process during Covid-19.

Comment by Kate Palmer, Director of HR Advice at Peninsula

This guidance is much-anticipated information that employers will find useful going forward. Although not much has changed, employers will still benefit from this guidance as it explains, in full, what is expected of them.

Now that guidance has been released, employers will likely begin making preparations to implement the changes and ensure that nothing slips through the net as they deal with possible skills shortages from Brexit and the fallout from coronavirus.