EU Settlement Scheme rules allow European citizens to live and work in the UK beyond the summer. Eligible claimants will be awarded either pre-settled or settled status within the UK and both of these will allow applicants to continue to work in Britain, access the NHS and certain public funds and be eligible for benefits and pensions.
For employers, up until May 16, they must do the following if they’re carrying out a temporary adjusted check:
- Ask the worker to submit a scanned copy or a photo of their original documents via email or using a mobile app
- Arrange a video call with the worker – ask them to hold up the original documents to the camera and check them against the digital copy of the documents record the date they made the check and mark it as “adjusted check undertaken on [insert date] due to COVID-19”
- If the worker has a current Biometric Residence Permit or Biometric Residence Card or has been granted status under the EU Settlement Scheme or the points-based immigration system they can use the online right to work checking service while doing a video call – the applicant must give permission to view their details
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These temporary adjustments will soon end and from May 17, employers must either check the applicant’s original documents or, check the applicant’s right to work online, if they’ve provided a share code.
The EU Settlement Scheme has faced huge demand as in February, the Home Office announced it had hit the milestone of five million applications, four months ahead of the deadline.
At the time, Priti Patel, the Home Secretary, commented on the news: “It is fantastic news that over five million people have applied to the hugely successful EU Settlement Scheme.
“It’s the biggest scheme of its kind in UK history and will mean European citizens and their families can continue to call the UK home.”
Additionally, Kevin Foster, the Minister for Future Borders and Immigration, was also welcoming: “It’s great news there have been more than five million applications to the EU Settlement Scheme ahead of the June 30 deadline.
“My message to European citizens and their family members is simple – apply now and join the millions who have already been through the simple process to secure their status.”
In this week’s update, the Home Office warned employers need to keep their eyes open going forward.
It noted that due to the impact of coronavirus some individuals may struggle to show evidence of their right to work in the UK.
As a result of this, employers must: “Take extra care to ensure no-one is discriminated against as a job applicant or employee because they are unable to show their document.”
The Home Office also issued the following details on retrospective checks: “You do not need to carry out retrospective checks on those who had a COVID-19 adjusted check between March 30 2020 and May 16 2021 (inclusive).
“This reflects the length of time the adjusted checks have been in place and supports business during this difficult time.
“You will maintain a defence against a civil penalty if the check you have undertaken during this period was done in the prescribed manner or as set out in the COVID-19 adjusted checks guidance.
“It remains an offence to work illegally in the UK. Any individual identified who is disqualified from working by reason of their immigration status, may be liable to enforcement action. If the job applicant or existing worker cannot show their documents
“You must contact the Home Office Employer Checking Service. If the person has a right to work, the Employer Checking Service will send you a ‘Positive Verification Notice’. This provides you with a statutory excuse for six months from the date in the notice.”