With the imminent Brexit date getting ever closer, currently scheduled for this Friday (31st January) there is still a great deal of confusion and ambiguity surrounding what will happen to EU citizens coming to the UK to live and work after we leave the EU. Here, our Senior HR Coordinator, Hannah Clennett provides some advice for employers.
For EU citizens currently living in the UK they are able to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme which will grant either settled or pre settled status, with the application deadline being 30th June 2021 or if the UK leaves the EU without a deal the deadline will be 31st December 2020.
Settled status can be claimed by EU citizens who have lived in the UK for a continuous five-year period and allows the recipient the right to live and work in the UK indefinitely after Brexit. Any applicants who have not met the continuous residence threshold are given the more temporary pre-settled status, which only allows for a further five years of residence from the date the status is granted.
There will be a transitional period after Brexit, where the current free movement framework will remain in the most part the same, and law abiding EU citizens and their family members will be able to move to the UK and live, study, work and access benefits and services as they do now.
More than 2.7 million EU citizens currently living in the UK have applied for the status. Of these, some 2.45 million decisions have been made, with all but six applicants granted either settled or pre-settled status. In December, the Home Office received 163,000 applications for the EU Settlement Scheme, bringing the total number of applications to 2,756,100 by the end of the year.
EU citizens who move to the UK after 31st January 2020 will be able to apply for a 36 month temporary immigration status – European Temporary Leave to Remain (TLR). The Euro TLR scheme will be a route to immigration status in the UK after Brexit; those who wish to stay beyond 2020 will need to apply for a UK immigration status granting them permission to stay.
Applications to the new Euro TLR scheme will be relatively simple, free and can be made after arrival in the UK and this can be done online. This will mean they should have a secure legal status in the UK before a new immigration system, planned to be introduced January 2021, takes effect – this will be similar to the Australian points-based system.
So in summary, so long as an application to remain in the UK is made before the 30th June 2021, (or by 31st December 2020 if we leave without a deal), there should be no reason why an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen will not be permitted to continue working in the UK.
For employers in the UK, you still have the same responsibility to prevent illegal working and have a duty to check the entitlement of all employees working for them in the UK by checking:
- their passport or national identity card;
- their biometric residence card; or
- their status under the EU Settlement Scheme or EU Temporary Leave Scheme using the Home Office’s online right to work checking service.
If you need any advice on what these changes will mean and how you can comply please contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0203 538 5311