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Employing European Workers – closure of the Worker Registration Scheme

BY Gerry O'Hare
Employment Law & HR
BG Purple

Under regulations introduced in May 2004, most workers from any of the eight EU accession countries (Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia or Slovenia) had to register with the Home Office under the Worker Registration Scheme if they planned to work in the UK for longer than one month. This scheme closed on 30th April 2011.

This means that from 1st May 2011 nationals of the following countries can therefore live and work in the UK without needing to apply for permission under the UK's points-based system and can work here without any restrictions: Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Irish Republic, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.

Employers should note that Bulgarian and Romanian nationals may need to obtain an accession worker card before they can work here and a work permit may need to be obtained.

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