EU Nationals and their right to work in the UK?

EU Nationals’ right to work

In order to stay in this country and access the benefits available to UK citizens – such as healthcare – an EU citizen who was resident here before 31st December 2020 must have applied to the EU Settlement Scheme – EUSS – by 30th June 2021.

If your employee asks your advice because they have not done this, you can advise that it may be possible for them to apply to the EUSS if they have not already done so. However, this is wholly dependent on the “reasonable grounds” they cite for not having done so previously. A list of these is here under the heading “Reasonable grounds for why you did not apply by the deadline”. Apply to the EU Settlement Scheme (settled and pre-settled status): Who can apply – GOV.UK (

According to the type of reasonable ground cited employee must have proof in the form of:

– A letter from a doctor, carer, or other healthcare professional.
– A court document.
– A letter from a parent, guardian, or local authority.
– A letter from a charity or homeless shelter.
– A birth, marriage, or civil partnership certificate to demonstrate your relationship to a pre-settled or
settled EU citizen as well as copy of the share code or certificate of application from that family member.

As an employer you are not responsible to see if your EU staff have applied retrospectively but you will have to check a new EU citizen’s right to work.

The exception is for Irish citizens can show you their Irish passport and passport card as proof of their ability to work in the UK.

How to do Right to Work Checks

You can check a new applicant from the EU in two ways – online, or by looking at their original documents.

– Online

If you would prefer to do a right to work check online, you can use the Home Office’s own checking service which is accessible here. View a job applicant’s right to work details – GOV.UK (

You will see the term “share code” mentioned as something you need to have to access the online checking system. This should be given to you by the EU applicant, you will also need their date of birth.

Once online you should double check that the photograph on that system is that of the individual applying to work and you need to keep the checking system’s response in a secure place for the entire time the new employee works for you and for two years after that. It should then be destroyed.

– Original Documents

If your applicant does not have a share code, you can inspect their original documents.

A list of the relevant documents and how to check them is listed here: Right to work checklist ( It is important to copy and retain these documents and record the date upon which the check was made.
As per the online documents you should keep these documents securely for the entire time the EU worker is with you and for two years after that. It should then be securely destroyed.

Things you should also take into account

That you may need a certificate of sponsorship and a skilled worker visa.

That you may also need a DBS check. In which case you can ask us to help you or use our fast, easy self-managed system which you can access our Basic Criminal Record Disclosure service.

We hope this has been useful for you.