Case details

Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (Appellant) v Gubeladze (Respondent)

Case ID: UKSC 2018/0008

Case summary


Whether the UK’s decision to extend the applicability of Workers’ Registration Scheme (which applied to individuals coming to work in the UK from the 8 Accession States which joined the EU in 2004) by two years was lawful.


The Worker Registration Scheme (‘WRS’) was implemented following the accession of 8 Member States (including Latvia) to the EU. The WRS required any national of those states coming to the UK within the first 5 years of accession to register under the WRS before starting work. If she changed jobs, she had to register again. The obligation to register continued until she had worked for 12 months. A fee of £90 was payable upon first registration. An individual to whom the WRS applied would only be considered as legally working and entitled to reside in the UK if she was registered under the WRS. Failure to register may disentitle an individual to welfare benefits. The WRS was subsequently extended by regulations in 2009 to remain in place until 30 April 2011.

The Respondent is a Latvian national who came to the UK in 2008 when she was 57. Between 14 September 2009 and 25 November 2012 she worked for various employers. In the periods when she was not working, she was a jobseeker. The Respondent obtained a certificate under the WRS on 20 August 2010. Her employment before that date was not covered by the necessary certificate. In November 2012 the Respondent made a claim for state pension credit. She had reached the qualifying age, she had worked for at least a year and she had a right to permanent residence in the UK. She therefore satisfied the requirements of the relevant Regulations. The Respondent contended that she had acquired a right of permanent residence because she had lived in the UK for more than 3 years and she had been working for at least the preceding 12 months. On 18 December 2012 the SoS rejected the Respondent’s claim because she had not registered under the WRS during the first part of her employment and for that period had not been residing legally in the UK. The Upper Tribunal and Court of Appeal both concluded that the extension of the WRS in 2009 was unlawful.

Judgment appealed

[2017] EWCA Civ 1751



Secretary of State for Work and Pensions


Tamara Gubeladze



Lady Hale, Lord Kerr, Lord Carnwath, Lord Hodge, Lady Black, Lord Lloyd-Jones, Lord Sales

Hearing start date

12 Mar 2018

Hearing finish date

13 Mar 2018

Watch hearing
12 Mar 2019 Morning session Afternoon session
13 Mar 2019 Morning session