From 1 July 2021, the process for employers completing right to work checks on EU, EEA, and Swiss citizens will change.

The deadline for applications to the EU Settlement Scheme [EUSS] by EU, EEA, or Swiss citizens resident in the UK by 31 December 2020 is 30 June 2021.

From 1 July 2021, employers will no longer be able to accept the passports or ID cards of EU, EEA, or Swiss citizens as valid proof of right to work.

Employers must check that all job applicants have the right to work in the UK before employing them, to avoid being liable for a civil penalty.

There are two types of right-to-work checks: a manual check and an online check. The type of check conducted will depend on the status of the individual being employed, and in some circumstances, the individual’s preference.

An online right-to-work check is required for individuals who only hold digital proof of their immigration status in the UK. This includes most EU, EEA, or Swiss citizens and will entail a simple check of their digital immigration status by their employer.

To carry out an online right to work check, an employer will need the applicant’s date of birth and their share code, which they will have obtained online. They can then complete the check online by visiting GOV.UK/view-right-to-work.

A manual check can be completed for UK and Irish nationals who can use their passport as proof of right-to-work. Employers will also need to complete a manual check for individuals in the UK who do not hold a digital immigration status.

Guidance for both online and manual right to work checks can be found on GOV.UK/check-job-applicant-right-to-work.

A right to work check must be carried out for every individual employed. Employers can face a civil penalty of up to £20,000 for each employed illegal worker who does not have the right to work in the UK and where correct checks were not undertaken.

There is no requirement for employers to undertake a retrospective check on EU, EEA, or Swiss citizenswho entered their employment before 1 July 2021.

Employers will maintain a continuous statutory excuse against liability for a civil penalty if the initial checks were undertaken in line with legislation and guidance.

Updated guidance on how to conduct a right to work check from 1 July 2021 and lists of acceptable documents can be found on GOV.UK. This includes additions of the following documents:

  • Irish passport or passport card
  • Frontier Worker Permit
  • Documents issued by the Crown Dependencies EU Settlement Schemes, when verified by the relevant Home Office checking service.
  • Certificate of Application or document issued by the UK, Jersey or Guernsey EU Settlement Schemes, confirming an application made by the 30 June deadline, when verified by the relevant Home Office checking service.


With less than 3 weeks left to the deadline for applications to the EUSS, we encourage employers to remind their staff to apply to the scheme by 30 June 2020. A collection of guidance and communication materials for employers to support their staff on the EUSS can be found in our employer EUSS toolkit on GOV.UK.

We have been clear that where an EU, EEA, or Swiss citizens has reasonable grounds for missing the EUSS application deadline, they will be given a further opportunity to apply.

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