Restrictions on Bulgarian and Romanian nationals to remain in force

Recruiters should be aware that restrictions on Bulgarian and Romanian nationals working in the UK will continue until the end of 2013.

EU nationals are allowed to work in any EU country under EU law. However EU states are permitted to impose transitional restrictions for up to 7 years where there is threat of serious disturbance to the country’s labour market.

Restrictions were imposed in 2007 when Bulgaria and Romania joined the EU. In order to work in the UK, nationals of these countries must have a visa, be highly skilled or be employed in a sector where there are labour shortages.

Following a compulsory review, the announcement came late in November 2011 that the UK has decided the restrictions are to remain in place for the full 7 years.

Recruiters should therefore ensure that proper checks are carried out on an individual’s right to work in the UK. Failure to do so may result in the engagement of an illegal worker, which in turn may be breach of contract, damage client relationships and lead to an investigation by the borders and immigration authority.

Bulgarian and Romanian nationals may have other rights to carry on business activities in the UK. However their engagement by recruitment companies should be with caution and in line with specific advice.

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