The Worker Registration Scheme
Ten states joined the EU on 1 May 2004. These were Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia. Under transitional arrangements introduced on 1 May 2004, the new Accession State Worker Registration Scheme was introduced for new workers from these countries, excluding Malta and Cyprus, planning to work in the UK for more than one month. The scheme restricts the right of those workers to certain benefits until they have been working in the UK for a continuous period of 12 months.
Workers from these eight new member states are generally required to apply to the Home Office for a registration certificate, authorising them to work for that employer, within one month of starting work. Applications for registration are the responsibility of the individual worker and a registration fee of £70 is payable. Employers should, however, ensure that the individual is provided with a letter on company paper confirming the date on which they started working as the worker will need this when applying for registration. The employer should keep a copy of the worker’s completed application form, as evidence that the request for registration has been made within one month of that person starting work for them, and retain a copy of the valid Worker Registration Certificate.
It is a criminal offence, with a maximum fine of £5,000, to continue to employ a worker from one these eight countries without the necessary registration certificate.
In April 2006, the Government confirmed that it will continue to operate the Worker Registration Scheme after 1 May 2006 in order to monitor the numbers of nationals from the new member states coming to work in the UK and their impact on the labour market.
The contents of this article are intended for general information purposes only and shall not be deemed to be, or constitute legal advice. We cannot accept responsibility for any loss as a result of acts or omissions taken in respect of this article.