So, it looks like Brexit could result in a few hurdles for HR departments and, indeed, recruiters all across the land. Effectively, the UK will leave the EU on 31st January 2020. At this point, freedom of movement to the UK will come to an end. In order to ensure that EU citizens currently living and working in the UK retain their existing rights, The Government has drawn up a new system called the ‘EU Settlement Scheme’.
Although nobody seems certain as to what will happen in the event of no deal, if the current negotiations result in a deal, the UK and EU have agreed that permanent residency for EU citizens will not be valid after 31st of December 2020. Those who have been living in the UK for 5 years or more will have until 30th of June 2021 to apply for the new settled status. Those who have been living in the UK for less than 5 years will be able to apply for ‘pre-settled status’.
The change in status means that it will be necessary to ensure that EU citizens who intend to remain in the UK have applied for settled status. According to the online magazine People Management, the onus to check immigration status/right to work status will most likely fall on employers. Furthermore, Anne Morris – author of the article and immigration solicitor, suggests that now is the time to ensure that HR is able to correctly check documents.
In order to help employers and their employees, the government has developed a ‘toolkit’. This includes printable leaflets to distribute to staff and a booklet for employers. While the government seems to encourage engagement on the key points of the scheme, it is also stressing that HR must not give immigration advice.
If you would like to know more about the settlement scheme, you can find the toolkit here.
For the employers’ briefing, click here.