All employers in the UK have a responsibility to prevent illegal working, the current right to work check (up to 31 December 2020), includes obtaining original versions of at least one acceptable document such as a passport, checking that the document is valid and real and then retaining a copy for your records as their employer. As an employer, you should conduct a right to work check before employing an individual to ensure they are legally allowed to do the work in question for you.
On the 31 December 2020, freedom of movement between the United Kingdom and European Union will come to an end. Replacing the freedom of movement will be the UK government’s planned points-based immigration system. This proposed system will not distinguish between EU and non-EU nationals. It is intended to attract individuals who can contribute to the UK’s economy regardless of their nationality. This new immigration system will apply to people arriving in the UK from 1 January 2021 and EU citizens moving to the UK to work will need to get a visa in advance. EU citizens applying for a skilled worker visa will need to show they have a job offer from an approved employer sponsor to be able to apply. If you’re an employer planning to sponsor skilled migrants from 2021, and are not currently an approved sponsor, you should consider getting approved now.
When the new points-based immigration system is introduced in the UK from January 2021, the government has said that employers will be required to check that an EU citizen has a valid UK immigration status, and not just an EU passport or national identity card. Employers will still be required to retain evidence that they have checked the right to work of their employees and keep record of this.