A8 EU Nationals
This content applies to Scotland only.
Housing laws vary between Scotland and England. Get advice relating to England
Ten countries became members of the EU on 1 May 2004. For eight of them: Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia, and Slovenia, called the A8 countries, the Workers Registration Scheme (WRS) was introduced. The WRS placed restriction on entitlement to the help and assistance that is available to people from the A8 countries.
End of the Worker Registration Scheme
The restrictions brought in by the Workers Registration Scheme came to an end on 30 April 2011. This means from 1 May 2011 nationals from the A8 states have the same rights as other EU nationals.
What was the Worker Registration Scheme?
If you were from one of the A8 nations and wanted to work in the UK then you had to register with the Worker Registration Scheme within 30 days of starting work. If you registered with the scheme it also meant that you were eligible for the same benefits, tax and housing (including homelessness assistance) schemes as nationals from other European Union states. In addition to this, when you registered with WRS you were exempt from the Habitual Residence test.
You had to be registered with the WRS for an unbroken period of 12 months; this included no more than a total of 30 days out of work.
During your first 12 months of employment
Within your first year of residence in the UK you would have normally only had the right to reside and could have only expected help from the council if you were registered on the WRS or you had applied for help from the council before the 7 August 2008.
After completion of 12 month period of employment
Once you had completed 12 months' continuous employment on the WRS you would have had the same status and right to work, benefits and housing assistance as other EU nationals, with no further requirement to register to the WRS.