House of Lords demand that EU citizens receive physical proof of settled or pre-settled status

21 January 2020

As published in the CIPP’s News Online, the original proposals by the government for individuals being granted either settled or pre-settled status was that they would be provided with a digital proof, and not physical evidence to show their right to work status within the UK.

This was not met favourably by many of those affected, and HR and payroll professionals also voiced their concerns about these proposals. The House of Lords has since voted in a way that guarantees that EU citizens will be provided with physical documents as proof of their settled status by backing an amendment to implement a registration system that ensures this. The amendment secured 270 votes for and 229 against it, meaning it was backed by a majority of 41 peers. The amendment was initially suggested by Liberal Democrat peer, Lord Oates, who asserted that without physical proof, EU citizens entitled to remain in the UK would be “severely disadvantaged” and that it would lead to “confusion” and “anxiety” for those impacted. This echoed concerns of the EU who warned that post-Brexit, EU nationals will face increased risk of discrimination, which would only be exacerbated by the lack of physical documents to prove their status.

The European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill or WAB, supported by Boris Johnson’s large conservative majority, passed through the Commons with relative ease but it is expected that there may be some resistance in the upper chamber, where the numbers are significantly lower.

Inews reported that former civil servant, Lord Kerslake advised that providing physical proof of settled status would not delay the UK’s departure from the EU.

The CIPP will continue to provide updates on the situation in relation to proof of settled and pre-settled status so that our members are aware of the expectations placed upon them in relation to right to work documentation and what they need to check for.


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