In light of the Immigration Minister’s warning that businesses would face the prospect of “rigorously” checking new employees from the EU after Brexit, the Government has reassured business owners that this is not the case.
The initial statement came from Caroline Nokes, Minister of State for Immigration, on 30th October, when she stood before the Home Affairs Select Committee to answer a question on what employers should do after the UK leaves the EU in order to check that EU citizens have the right to work here.
Ms Nokes suggested that employers would need to thoroughly check the backgrounds of EU citizens to determine whether they had arrived before Brexit or afterwards. Employers themselves would need to provide evidence that all their employees have the right to work legally.
However, this statement faced criticism from organisations such as the Federation of Small Businesses, as most small business owners are unaware of how to check EU citizens’ right to work.
The Home Office has now contradicted the Immigration Minister, as it confirmed to a charity which campaigns for the rights of EU citizens that “current checks will not change next March", and that “EU citizens will continue to be able to evidence their right to work by showing a passport or national identity card.” It remains to be seen whether the Government’s promise, or the Immigration Minister’s warning, shall come to pass in March.
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