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What Brexit means for social service workers and employers

The UK left the European Union (EU) on 31 January 2020. This process is known as Brexit.

The following transition period, which included a continuation of free movement of workers ended on 1 January 2021 and the rights of EU nationals living in the UK changed. 

What Brexit means for people registered with the SSSC

If you are a European Union (EU), European Free Trade Area (EFTA) or a Swiss trained social service worker living and working in Scotland and on our Register, your registration has continued with the SSSC. The decision regarding your qualification will remain valid.

If you were already on our Register, you didn’t need to do anything. Your registration was not affected by the UK leaving the EU.

Information for EU, EEA and Swiss citizens on viewing and proving your immigration status

From 1 July 2021, EU, EEA and Swiss citizens and their family members granted status under the EU Settlement Scheme need to evidence their rights in the UK with their immigration status, for example to work. EU, EEA and Swiss citizens who have applied for a UK visa (including permission to stay) using the ID Check app or by visiting a Visa Application Centre are also granted an immigration status. 

The guide for EU, EEA and Swiss citizens on viewing and proving their immigration status (eVisa) explains how people can view and prove their immigration status, update their details, what they should expect when crossing the UK border and how to get help accessing their immigration status. 

For employers - right to work checks

Employers must check that all job applicants have the right to work in the UK before employing them, to avoid being liable for a civil penalty.

Employers are no longer be able to accept EU passports or ID cards as valid proof of right-to-work, except for Irish citizens. You do not need to retrospectively check the status of any EU, EEA, or Swiss citizens you employed before 1 July 2021. 

There are two types of right-to-work check: a manual check and an online check. The type of check you need to conduct will depend on the status of the individual you are employing, and in some circumstances, the individual’s preference. 

An online right-to-work check is required for individuals who only hold digital proof of their immigration status in the UK. This includes most EU, EEA, and Swiss citizens.

To carry out an online right to work check, you will need the applicant’s date of birth and their share code, which they will have got online. You can then complete the check online at GOV.UK/view-right-to-work.

You can complete a manual check for UK and Irish nationals who can use their passport as proof of right-to-work. Employers will also need to complete a manual check for individuals in the UK who do not hold a digital immigration status.

Guidance for both online and manual right to work checks can be found on GOV.UK

A points-based immigration system introduction for employers is available to give information on how you can recruit from around the world.

Priority visa services

Priority visa services are available to EU nationals holding a biometric passport from an EU country and who are submitting applications via the UK Immigration: ID Check app in the skilled workerhealth and care and student route.

You can find more information on getting a quicker decision using priority visa services at

Skilled worker eligibility checker tool

This interactive tool allows applicants and employers to immediately see if vacancies are eligible for a skilled worker visa. Find the tool at

Review of non-UK qualifications

We are currently reviewing our policy on assessing non-UK qualifications for function-based parts of the Register.

If your application is in process, Brexit will not affect it. We will continue to accept and assess applications that would have met EEA criteria until our review is complete.

Workforce Data

As an official statistics provider we publish data on the social service workforce in Scotland.


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Right values, right people

Our toolkit helps employers use and embed values-based approaches to recruitment and retaining workers.