The Worker Registration Scheme (WRS) was introduced in May 2004 to regulate access to the labour market of migrants from the Accession 8 countries (Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia) and to restrict their access to benefits.
The WRS has been administered by the UK Border Agency (UKBA), the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) and Communities and Local Government (CLG). The scheme was scheduled to terminate in April 2009 but has been extended until April 2011. A8 nationals are allowed to take up work with a UK employer but are required to register with the scheme and pay a registration fee to the Home Office; a new registration is required when an individual changes employment or is employed by more than one employer until 12 months of continuous employment have been reached. WRS data can be used to measure inflows of A8 citizens coming to work. Year of registration, nationality, date of birth, gender, occupation, industry, initial wage and location of the employer are routinely recorded.
WRS data underestimate labour migration from A8 countries because not all A8 migrants register with the scheme – the registration fee is a disincentive and the self-employed are not required to register.
There is no requirement to de-register, so the dataset does not yield any information on the actual length of stay or the number of A8 migrants working in the UK at any point in time.