Settlement scheme for Non-EU workers

Due to changes implemented as part of Brexit, the Settlement Scheme now applies to Non-EU nationals.


This will result in a significant change to the ‘Right to Work’ (RTW) checks and processes all employers must follow for contractors living and working in the UK.


What does it mean? Who does it apply to?


The Settlement Scheme essentially determines who can and cannot live and work in the UK.


For Recruitment Agencies and Umbrella companies, engaging workers on an employed basis, these changes may impact on the contractors that are available to work.


Does this apply to CIS/ self-employed contractors?


Our understanding is that it is only employers of workers that are being instructed to check status under the Settlement scheme and not contractors working with sub-contractors. Should further guidance be released that differs to this, we will contact impacted agencies and make the necessary adjustments to our checking processes.


What is a Share Code and how to Prove your Right To Work using one?


  • Non-EU workers can prove their Right to Work to an employer by simply sharing a ‘share code’. To create a ‘share code’ a migrant worker will need:
  • Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) number sometimes called as visa
  • Biometric Residence Card (BRC) number
  • Passport or National Identity card
  • A share code is usually valid for 30 days and is made of 9 alphanumeric characters like 9XY-6GY-2S2.
Potential application outcomes


  • Receive settled status

You typically receive this status if you have been living in the UK for a continuous 5-year period.

  • Receive pre-settled status

For those that have not lived in the UK for five years in a row you will typically receive pre-settled status (as long as you were living in the UK by 31st December 2020).

  • Carry out ECS check

We may be asked to carry out further checks on contractors which includes running an employment check service on them. Please note this can take up to 4 weeks to receive a result.

  • Be unsuccessful

An unsuccessful application will unfortunately mean that you are no longer able to remain and work in the UK.


How will this impact RTW checking for employers in the future, including Quest Pay Solutions?


Successful applicants will receive a share code to provide to current and future employers and Right to Work will subsequently be checked via the government site using a share code.


Employers will be required to check the RTW of each worker before employing and paying them. This will mean that there will be little room for Quest Pay to move when paying contractors who cannot prove their status. It is important that agencies are aware of this and understand that Quest Pay Solutions must adhere to these new Home Office rules to avoid the heavy penalties that would come with non-compliance.


Please feel free to contact our account manager Tuesday at any point with any queries or questions.

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