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PRESS INFORMATION - press enquiries to: Sam Dabbs on 07050 108985

18 December 2006

Warning to employers as rules bar workers from new EU countries

Employers who take on workers from the new EU accession countries of Bulgaria and Romania without permission to work in the UK could face significant fines, warns law firm DWF.

The warning comes after the government imposed strict restrictions on the number of Bulgarian and Romanian nationals allowed to work in the UK. Both countries are due to join the EU on 1 January 2007 but their citizens will not enjoy the same freedom to work in the UK that was granted to Polish and other ‘A8’ nationals when they joined the EU on 1 May 2004.

Ansar Ali, employment lawyer with DWF, says the rules will effectively prevent employers from taking on Bulgarian and Romanian citizens, except those classed as highly skilled workers or a total of 20,000 who will be allowed to take up temporary work on farms or in food processing. However there is nothing to stop the self-employed working here.

He says: “The rules make it very difficult indeed to employ people from Bulgaria and Romania and could encourage a rise in illegal employment. Companies who are caught doing this could face stiff penalties.

“When employing any foreign national, always check that they have permission to work in the UK and to do the job offered. If you are making an offer of employment to a highly skilled person who does not have a permit, allow sufficient time to apply for one before the individual commences work. There is nothing to stop employers using self-employed people from these countries, but ensure that the arrangement is genuine and they are not operating as employees under another name.”


Notes to editors

DWF is one of the fastest growing law firms in the UK, with over 370 legal advisers (including 70 partners) and 595 people based in Manchester and Liverpool. DWF provides a range of services grouped under the following practice areas:

Banking & Finance
Real Estate

DWF has developed extensive sector-specific expertise in a number of areas including: automotive, education, food and resourcing. Further information on DWF is available via

Media enquiries to:
Sam Dabbs
Dabbs PR & Marketing
T: 01939 210503 or 07050 108985

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