Tuesday 28 April 2009

Extension of registration scheme for Eastern European Workers

[Thanks to Tom Royston of Leeds CAB for telling me about this and providing the summary]

The government has announced that the Worker Registration Scheme , which had been expected to end on 30 April 2009, will continue for another two years .

This means employees from the A8 states [Czech Republic, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovenia, Slovakia, Poland, and Hungary] must continue to be registered with the Home Office until they have completed 12 months registered work. Employers failing to ensure that their employees comply can be fined up to £5,000. [SI 2004/1219 s.9(5) ]

The scheme utilises a UK derogation from the EC Treaty which was supposed to end this month. However, Member States which can show a "serious disturbance to the labour market" are allowed to extend the derogation for up to two years. The scheme will now end on 30 April 2011.

It is possible that the European Commission may object to the extension as the meaning of "serious disturbances to the labour market" is not defined in EC law.

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