Extension of the Workers Registration Scheme in 2009 was unlawful

Posted on by Marketing

The Upper Tribunal has ruled that the government acted unlawfully when it extended the controversial Workers Registration Scheme (WRS) for a further two years.

The WRS required nationals from Czech Republic, Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia, and Slovenia to register each time they started a new job. Nationals from these countries were also prevented from relying on their EU law right to reside in respect of any period where they did not register.

Many workers inadvertently fell foul of what was seen by some as an unnecessarily bureaucratic scheme. Even though the WRS ended in 2011, its effects have continued to be felt because past non compliance with the WRS has in many cases caused a person not to retain a right of residence, or not to develop a permanent right of residence.

The case of TG v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (PC) [2015] UKUT 0050 (AAC) was heard by the Administrative Appeals Chamber of the Upper Tribunal in January 2015. The Appellant was represented by Tom Royston from Garden Court North, instructed by Howells Solicitors, Sheffield.

In what was the first successful challenge to the WRS, Judge Ward found that the decision to continue the WRS until 2011 was ‘manifestly inappropriate’ and therefore unlawful. The finding will potentially affect the past and future social security, housing and immigration law rights of hundreds of thousands of EU workers.

Subject to any appeal, the government will have to change domestic law to make it compliant with the decision. Therefor, it will no longer be lawful to refuse EU workers the right to reside on the ground of not having complied with the WRS requirements in the period 1 May 2009 and 30 April 2011.

For the full judgement, see: http://www.osscsc.gov.uk/Aspx/view.aspx?id=4418

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