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Right to Reside - Retained worker

Your right to reside is your legal right to live in the UK. There are lots of different rights to reside and you may have more than one.

Retained worker

Which benefits?

If you have right to reside as a retained worker, you can claim:

If you have a right to reside as a retained worker and you are ordinarily resident in the UK, you can claim:

Do I have a right to reside as a retained worker?

If you did have a right to reside as a worker but now your job has ended or you work is no longer genuine and effective, you may have a right to reside as a retained worker.

You may be a retained worker if:

  • You receive less or no more shifts and you have started a claim for Jobseeker’s Allowance or Universal Credit
  • You were made redundant and you have started a claim for Jobseeker’s Allowance or Universal Credit
  • You were unfairly dismissed and you have started a claim for Jobseeker’s Allowance or Universal Credit
  • You are attending vocational training (not academic training or studying)
  • You are unwell and will return to work
  • You are injured and will return to work
  • You are in the late stages of pregnancy

If you’re not sure whether your work is genuine and effective, or whether you retain your worker status, you should seek specialist advice.  You can use our Find an Adviser tool to find an adviser near you.

How long am I a retained worker?

You are only a retained worker if it is clear that you will be returning to work.  This is called a “genuine prospect of work”.

If you have worked in the UK for less than one year, you can be a retained worker for a maximum of 6 months as long as you have a genuine prospect of work.

If you have worked in the UK for more than one year, you can be a retained worker for 6 months as long as you have a genuine prospect of work.  After 6 months, you can only continue to be a retained worker if there is compelling evidence that you will be returning to work. 

If you have stopped being a retained worker, you may need to demonstrate that you have a different right to reside to start or continue your benefit claims.  

You can check whether you have another right to reside on our Types of Rights to Reside page.

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