advo hr provides an update on the current Brexit situation, and given what we know how this might impact your workforce with more detail about the EU Settlement Scheme and key pointers.
The current state of play is that although the UK Parliament have rejected the current Brexit deal, the government has not retracted its intention to apply its EU Settlement Scheme to EU citizens currently living and working in the UK. This will mean that assuming no other interventions take place before 29 March 2019, the UK will leave the EU in a “no-deal” Brexit position and the EU Settlement Scheme will apply. Employers will need to ensure that their workforce are fully informed about the scheme and what this may mean for them.
What are the main points of the scheme?
- The scheme allows EU citizens and their family members to continue to live, work and study in the UK as long as they have applied to do so under the scheme – to apply they need to be resident in the UK by 31 December 2020.
- If an EU citizen has been a resident in the UK for more than five continuous years they will be eligible for settled status.
- If they have been a resident for less than five continuous years they will be eligible for pre-settled status (also known as limited leave to remain). This means that they can stay in the UK for a period of five years, at which point they will be eligible for settled status, and will be able to apply for this free of charge.
- The scheme will be fully open by 30 March 2019 – EU citizens and their family members will have until 30 June 2021 to apply, and their rights remain unchanged until then.
First impressions are that the application process seems relatively user friendly and can be done online – applicants will need to verify their identity and also provide proof of residence.
What you can be doing now to help prepare for the next steps of Brexit
- You can start by making sure you have accurate records of all EEA nationals currently working for you. This would be a useful exercise so that when it comes to communicating with staff about any impacts of Brexit, you have completed records at the ready. It may also help with your workforce planning and any government policy consultations that may take place.
- You may wish to start providing useful information, as well as reassurance to your employees. Staff may already be asking questions about Brexit and what it might mean to them, so keeping employees updated and informed is a great way to reduce any stress and uncertainty.
advo hr will be closely monitoring how the Brexit situation progresses, and will keep you updated as and when we know more about any impacts on your HR policies and processes.