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Peter Etherington
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Employment Update for Small Businesses
July 2021

Dear Subscriber

This month we focus on the changes that have come into place from 1st July with respect to right to work checks for citizens of the European Economic Area (EEA).
Please contact me if you would like to find out a bit more about any of the subjects raised in this update or if you need any help or advice.

Please forward this email to any of your contacts who might find it of benefit.

Peter Etherington
Tel: 01664 668164


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Peter Etherington
Changes to the Right to Work
The grace period for EEA citizens has ended
Whilst the UK left the EU on 31st December 2020, there has been a grace period which ended on 30th June 2021, during which employers have been able to recruit citizens of the EEA (i.e. EU member states plus Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein) and Switzerland using the same checks as before (e.g. showing a valid EU passport). However, from 1st July 2021, most EEA and Swiss nationals will no longer have an automatic right to work in the UK. There is an exception for citizens of the Republic of Ireland, who continue to have the right to work. Employers do not need to carry out any retrospective checks on people they employed between 1st January and 30th June 2021, as long as they carried out the correct checks at the time.

EEA and Swiss nationals already living in the UK may well have applied to and been accepted under the EU Settlement Scheme. They will have been given their immigration status digitally and will be able to submit to you a share code and their date of birth. You will be able to check this through a Government portal. If they do not have settled status, they will need to be able to demonstrate their right to work with an appropriate document in the same way that workers from outside the EEA have to. The full list of acceptable documents is contained in Section 8 of the Government guidance. Details of the on line checks for those with settled status is contained in Section 9, along with details of other types of checks that can be carried out for “frontier workers” and a few other obscure immigration arrangements.

If you wish to recruit EEA or Swiss nationals who do not currently have the right to work in the UK, you need to become a Home Office licensed sponsor under the new points-based system. The job needs to be of the required level in terms of qualification and salary. Full details are provided under Section 10 of the guidance.

National Minimum and Living Wage
The current National Living Wage and National Minimum Wage rates are:

  • £8.91 per hour for workers aged 23 and over
  • £8.36 per hour for workers aged 21 to 22
  • £6.56 per hour for workers aged 18 to 20
  • £4.62 per hour for workers aged 16 and 17
  • £4.30 per hour for apprentices under 19 and those over 19 in their first year*

*N.B. Apprentices over 19 and who have completed at least one year are entitled to the appropriate rate for their age.