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As with most areas of life, the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) on the UK’s immigration system is far-reaching.  In this regularly updated blog, we monitor the key developments around immigration, including those that may [...]

Preparing for Brexit

The UK’s decision to leave the EU will fundamentally change how businesses can both recruit and retain their EU staff.

What is changing?

EU staff already here

For those staff from the EU (or their non-EU family members) who are already here, they must register on the EU Settlement Scheme.  The EU Settlement Scheme is the new mandatory system of registration for all EU nationals and their non-EU family members.

Failure to register by the deadline will result in the individual having no lawful immigration status.  Those without lawful status are at risk of removal.  From an employer’s perspective, if you employ someone without immigration status then you will be in breach of the Right to Work laws and your business can be fined £15,000 per offending migrant (or £20,000 if you have previously been found in breach).

Further to this, many EU nationals will want, and be eligible for, the most secure form of immigration status: British citizenship.

Future recruitment

In terms of businesses’ ability to recruit EU nationals in the future, there are important deadlines to cater for.

Due to the Transition Period, businesses will still be able to recruit newly arriving EU nationals up until 31 December 2020.  New arrivals will also need to register under the EU Settlement Scheme.

The picture changes quite dramatically from 1 January 2021.  Unless an extension to the Transition Period is agreed (something the Government is seeking to legislate to prevent happening), then free movement of EU citizens will end on this date.  EU nationals will be treated no more favourably then any other overseas national.

At present, to recruit a worker from outside the EU requires the employer to hold a sponsor licence.  This involves the employer investing considerable resources in applying for, and maintaining, a sponsor licence.

There is already an immigration White Paper going through Parliament which will radically overhaul the immigration system from 2020.  In addition, following the General Election in December 2019, the Government is promising further reform and the introduction of an ‘Australian-style points-based system’.

How we can help

Help to secure the rights of your EU staff

We can help secure the immigration status of your staff, in light of Brexit.  We can do this either by workshops or by supporting your employees individually.

This can involve guiding individuals through the registration process of the EU Settlement Scheme.  We can also advise on the requirements for British citizenship.

Alternatively, we can provide guidance and training directly to managers and HR staff, thereby allowing you to provide appropriate guidance to affected staff.

Strategic advice

We provide strategic advice to your company around the retention and recruitment of overseas staff.

We are at the forefront of the latest immigration changes and have been consulting with the Home Office around the White Paper, through the Immigration Law Practitioners’ Association.

We have been instructed by a leading members association to lobby on behalf of its members interests.

Immigration Training

We provide regular training on different aspects of immigration law, including Brexit, to a range of organisations.  Previous training has been provided to various members associations, HR managers, SMEs, immigration advisors and a large corporate bank.

To see how Truth Legal can help your business adapt to Brexit, contact us now.

Book a FREE consultation

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