The United Kingdom has implemented a new process for employers completing right-to-work checks on EU, EEA, and Swiss nationals.

Key Points:

  • As of July 1, employers can no longer accept EU/EEA/Swiss passports or ID cards as proof of an applicant’s right to work in the U.K. Instead, they must check the applicant’s right to work online using a share code and their date of birth.
  • The change applies to all EU/EEA/Swiss nationals with the exception of Irish nationals. Irish nationals can continue using their passport, or other valid documents, as proof of their right to work.
  • Employers are not required to complete retrospective right-to-work checks for EU/EEA/Swiss nationals who started employment before July 1.
  • Between now and Dec. 31, employers do not need to terminate employment if they learn that the immigration status of an EU/EEA/Swiss employee hired before July 1 has lapsed because he or she did not apply for the EU Settlement Scheme by the June 30 deadline.
  • In these cases, employers should advise the employee to apply for the EU Settlement Scheme within 28 days. Late applications may be accepted if an applicant has reasonable grounds for missing the deadline. Employers should ask the employee to provide them with a Certificate of Application (CoA). Employers then must contact the Home Office Employer Checking Service (ECS) to confirm the individual has applied. Full guidance on this process is available here.

Background: U.K. employers are required to conduct a right-to-work for all new employees.

Generally, an online check is required for applicants who have digital proof of their immigration status, including most EU/EEA/Swiss nationals. Manual checks of passports or other valid documents can be completed for U.K. and Irish nationals. Manual checks are also required for foreign nationals who cannot prove their immigration status online, including most non-EU/EEA/Swiss visa holders.

Temporary COVID-19 measures in place until Aug. 31 allow employers to conduct right-to-work checks over video calls with scanned or photographed documents sent via email or mobile app. Additional information on the temporary measures is available here.

BAL Analysis: Employers are encouraged to review their internal right-to-work check procedures to ensure they are in compliance with the new rules for EU/EEA/Swiss nationals. Employers are also reminded that temporary COVID-19 measures on right-to-work checks are set to expire after Aug. 31. BAL is able to assist employers in ensuring they remain in compliance with current procedures.

This alert has been provided by Berry Appleman & Leiden. For additional information, please contact

Copyright © 2021 Berry Appleman & Leiden LLP. All rights reserved. Reprinting or digital redistribution to the public is permitted only with the express written permission of Berry Appleman & Leiden LLP. For inquiries please contact