How should employers carry out right to work in the UK checks for EEA nationals from 1 July 2021?

From 1 July 2021, European Economic Area (EEA) and Swiss nationals can no longer use their passports or national identity cards as evidence of their right to work in the UK (Irish nationals are an exception to this).

If an EEA or Swiss national has settled or pre-settled status, the employer should use the online right to work checking service to check this. The candidate must provide the employer with a share code and their date of birth to use the service.

If a candidate is waiting for the outcome of an application for settled or pre-settled status, they have the right to work pending the decision. If the candidate has a digital certificate of application, the employer can use the online right to work checking service to confirm this. Otherwise, the employer will need to use the Employer Checking Service to obtain confirmation of the outstanding application from the Home Office.

If a candidate does not have settled or pre-settled status, they will need to prove that they have another status giving them the right to work in the UK. If this is a type of status that cannot be checked using the online checking service, the employer will need to check the candidate's documents.

Guidance on how to carry out a right to work check, including which documents can be accepted as evidence from 1 July 2021, is set out in the Home Office right to work checks employer guide. (See our Quick reference section for the lists of acceptable documents: List A and List B.)

The government guidance states that there is no requirement for employers to carry out retrospective checks for existing EEA and Swiss national employees, employed prior to 1 July 2021, to check that they have obtained settled or pre-settled status. Employers can continue to rely on compliant right to work checks carried out before 1 July 2021.