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30 Jan 2019

Sharing our current understanding of the implications of an EU citizen’s eligibility to work in the UK after 31 January 2020.

The date for the UK’s departure from the EU is 31 January 2020. This will mark the beginning of an 11-month transition period during which the UK remains in the single market and freedom of movement continues. Therefore until 31 December 2020, EU citizens are able to work at the University without seeking any additional permission to work.

As an employer, the University is not required to make any changes to our ‘right to work’ checking process before 31 December 2020.  We will continue to check the right to work documents of all staff, including EU citizens, and are not required to check the date on which an EU citizen arrived in the UK.

EU settlement scheme

We encourage EU colleagues who arrived in the UK before 31 January 2020 to apply for the EU Settlement Scheme.  They currently have until 30 June 2021 to do so, but this date may be brought forward if the UK leaves the UK 'without a deal'.  Should the UK leave 'without a deal' the Government has indicated the deadline for settlement applications would be brought forward to 31 December 2020.

Applications are made using an app available for iPhone and Android device users.  Further support, including access to an Android device, is available from  At present colleagues do not have to inform HR if they have obtained either settled or pre-settled status.

From January 2021 a new points-based immigration system will be launched, which will be the route for EU workers to gain permission to work in the UK.  At this point our obligations as an employer will change and this may impact the type of checks we undertake, including the documents we can accept as evidence of eligibility to work in the UK.  The government has communicated that this will go ahead whether the UK leaves 'with a deal' or not.

Irish citizens are reminded that they do not need to apply to either the EU Settlement Scheme or the temporary leave to remain schemes as their right to live and work in the UK is based on legislation pre-dating the UK’s membership of the EU.

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