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Worker Registration Scheme

Volume 712: debated on Monday 6 July 2009

Question

Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government what benefits are available to European Union migrant workers who have joined the Worker Registration Scheme. [HL4434]

Since 1 May 2004, migrant workers from the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia (the A8 countries) have been required to register under the Home Office's Worker Registration Scheme (WRS) once they find work.

A8 nationals have worker status while they are working and registered with the WRS. While legally in work they may qualify for in-work benefits such as tax credits, child benefit, housing benefit and council tax benefit in the same way as other EEA nationals. Part-time workers may qualify for income-based jobseeker's allowance. A8 workers in registered employment may also qualify for income-related employment and support allowance if they are temporarily unable to work due to an illness or accident. Once they have completed 12 months’ registered work, they will be eligible for the full range of benefits in the same way as other EEA nationals, providing they meet the qualifying conditions.