Working and Driving in the UK
Is a European Community Driving Licence valid in the UK?
The simple answer is “yes” although if you are resident in the UK, you will generally have to apply for a UK licence when you reach the age of 70.
This all seems pretty clear or so you would have thought. However, a problem has arisen in that due to a misprint in a book used by the legal profession and the police, a mistaken belief has arisen that if a EU licence holder also has a provisional licence in the UK, this in some ways invalidates their existing licence. This has led to some people being charged with driving without a licence (and in some cases even having their cars impounded) even though they have a valid EU Licence and are therefore perfectly entitled to drive in the UK.
So if you find yourself in this situation, do challenge the Fixed Penalty Notice and just quote the Driving Licences (Community Driving Licence) regulations 1996 at anybody who tries to tell you that your EU licence is not valid.
Do I still need Permission to work in the UK?
Again the simple answer is “no” as the Workers Registration Scheme” closed on the 30 April 2011. This covers all “A8” Nationals and means that you no longer need any documents to prove your right to work in the UK although you will still have to show your employer evidence of your nationality.
Turning the Tables
One of my favourite stories of the week was the couple in America who “foreclosed” on the Bank of America after it failed to pay a judgment debt to them. The couple bought their property in Florida without a mortgage but despite this, the bank wrongly issued repossession proceedings against them in February 2010. The proceedings were eventually dropped but not before the couple had run up substantial legal fees which the court awarded the bank to pay.
After 5 months without getting a cent from the bank, their lawyer turned up at the bank to “foreclose” on the debt with a removal van, 2 policeman and the local media in tow. Faced with the prospect of losing the desks, computers and even the cash from the cashier’s drawers, the manager promptly produced a cheque for the full £3500 which the bank owed to the couple. Sweet justice indeed as the couple’s lawyer said.
One American law firm which did not fare so well this week was in one Detroit who were found liable for discrimination for demoting and eventually firing a secretary who injured her back as a result of having to wear high heels at work. It was firm policy that all female staff had to wear such heels and this continued even after the lady complained that this was hurting her back. She was forced to take time off due to her injuries but rather than trying to help her, the firm first demoted her and then eventually dismissed her. She sued for discrimination and an “out of court” settlement was eventually agreed. Sweet justice again particularly because as lawyers, they should have known better.