Brexit – What next?

The United Kingdom has formally ceased its membership of the European Union. Since 1st February 2020 a transitional period is in place until the end of 2020 as longer-term trade and immigration arrangements are worked out.

Although the transition will keep existing provisions around free movement of people and goods as they are before Brexit, this period is finite. Businesses should therefore take appropriate steps to plan for and support their workforce now.

What are the key Brexit milestones?

31 January 2020: UK formally left the EU and the beginning of an ‘implementation’ or transitional period.   EU/EEA/Swiss nationals retain existing free movement rights in the UK and vice versa

Spring 2020: UK Government to announce final post-Brexit immigration policy

31 December 2020: End of the transitional period

1 January 2021: New immigration system introduced

30 June 2021: Extended deadline for settled status applications for EU/EEA/Swiss citizens in the  UK before 1 January 2021

What do I do if I have EU citizens working in my organisation?

Support  EU/EEA/Swiss nationals and their families to  apply  for settled or pre-settled status under the European Settlement Scheme (EUSS) by 30 June 2021. If unsure,  first find out who are and how many affected workers you have in this category. Ensure they receive the support and information they need.

Can I ask my EU staff members what their intentions are?

Yes. Have this conversation with your employee’s welfare in mind. Brief your managers to have a simple one-to-one conversation with their team member to find out how they are feeling currently about the UK leaving the EU. Ask if settlement status has been applied for, for them and their family and provide the offer of help to navigate the process and complete the online application.

What do ‘settled status’ and ‘pre-settled status’ mean?

EU/EEA/Swiss citizens will have to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme by June 2021, where they will be granted settled or pre-settled status. Settled status will be given to those who have lived continuously in the UK for five years and enable the holder to remain in the UK indefinitely. Pre-settled status will be given to those who do not yet have five years’ continuous residence. Individuals with pre-settled status can apply for settled status once they have accrued five years’ continuous residence. The application process can be done via any mobile device or computer.

From what date do I need to ask new or existing staff for evidence of UK settlement status?

EU citizen staff who are already in the UK or arrive before 1 January 2021 can continue to work without needing to show settlement status until 1 July 2021.

EU citizens who enter the UK for work from 1 January 2021 will need to meet the UK’s post-Brexit migration requirements.

Should I change any policies after 31 January?

Policies are likely to require changing from 1 January 2021. The UK Government is planning to introduce a new immigration system for those who want to work in the UK for a period of time. The new system has undergone consultation which CIPD has responded to. A draft scheme is as yet to be announced.

If you have any questions or concerns please get in contact with us.