Workers registration scheme to close

The government has announced that the workers registration scheme will close after 30th April 2011, having been in operation for 7 years.  The scheme currently requires that nationals of the A8 countries, namely the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia, register with the Home Office if working for an employer in the UK for more than 1 month. However, from 1st May 2011 nationals of these countries will be free to work in the UK with the same rights as other EU citizens.

The changes should be good news for recruiters hiring A8 nationals as there will be less restriction and administration. However, it should be remembered that the scheme has not ended yet and does still apply until 30th April 2011. The ministerial announcement indicated that further guidance would be provided by the UK Border Agency as to the provisions that will apply until 30th April 2011.

It should also be remembered that Bulgarian and Romanian nationals will still continue to be subject to restrictions on their working in the UK, as they did not join the EU until 2007 and have different rules applied in any event.