Effective 1 January 2021, all EU citizens (excluding Irish citizens) no longer have the automatic right to work in the UK. European nationals and their families who arrived in the UK before 31 December 2020 must apply for the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS) by 30 June to continue living and working in the UK.
Individuals who have been “continuously resident” in the UK for at least five years should be eligible for settled status. If individuals have been in the UK less than five years, they should receive pre-settled status.
According to the Home Office, since the launch of the EUSS, 5.43 million people applied to settle in the UK. With only a few weeks left to go for EU workers to apply for permanent residency in the UK under the EU Settlement Scheme, there is a backlog of 300,000 cases across the UK.
Many EU citizens potentially face a loss of rights similar to those experienced by the Windrush Generation, including the fear of deportation.
Employers are apprehensive they may face staff shortages. If individuals miss the deadline, they may find themselves living in the UK illegally and unable to rent, open a bank account or even find work in the UK.
However, despite these concerns and requests to extend the deadline, the date remains 30 June.
Head of HR, Bal Dhesi, shares her practical tips employers should be considering.
Although there is no legal obligation to communicate the EUSS, take an active role in encouraging your staff to consider their status. If you want more information on necessary right to work checks for employers, take a look at the GOV website or arrange a free consultation with us.
Ask European nationals to inform you once they receive their settled or pre-settled status and make a note of when pre-settled status expires.
Take a look at the Government’s EU Settlement Scheme: employer toolkit. You will find fact sheets and posters to help you raise awareness among your staff.
You will need to prepare for the new immigration system from 1 July. Consider how the new system will affect your recruitment processes? Will you need to apply for a sponsor licence?
Review offer letters for all employees. It should state that employment is conditional on the person having the right to work & the employee providing satisfactory evidence of that right to work.
Undertake a full right to work check for all your current employees in June 2021. You can then be confident your workforce has the right to work for you in the UK.
With the deadline fast approaching, employers and workers alike need to be prepared. If you have any questions on how this will affect you or your business, please get in touch.
Bal can guide you through the appropriate channels to ensure all people management processes are compliant and correct.