The constraints placed on the UK by EU law in relation to the employment of EU nationals, can be demonstrated by the recent decision of the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) to agree to the end of competency tests for workers from the European Union (EU) after being told it could be sued by the European Commission for breaching EU law on “the freedom of movement” for workers.

Under the current system, if nurses from the EU want to register with the NMC and work in Britain, they have to demonstrate that they have practised as a nurse or midwife in their home country for 450 hours in the last three years, or they must undertake a “return to practice” course, which includes stringent testing. This requirement will still apply to nurses outside the EU.

The NMC’s council paper on EU registration requirement can be accessed here.