As a result of Brexit, all EU nationals currently working and living in the UK must have secured settled or pre-settled status if they want to remain in the UK, as the deadline to do so was 30 June 2021
What is settled status?
Securing settled or pre-settled status allows your EU national workers to remain working in the UK and have access to the usual services that any British citizen would have (e.g. free access to the NHS, enrol in education, access public funds to benefits and pensions (where eligible)) and travel in and out of the UK.
So long as your workers do not spend over five years outside the UK (or 2 years if they have pre-settled status) they will not lose their settled status.
Why should employers get involved?
There are concerns that some EU nationals still do not know they need to apply for settled status, with some believing that as they hold a permanent residence card and therefore they need not apply. That is not correct. If EU nationals fail to secure settled status (or pre-settled status) they run the risk of losing their right to remain in the UK.
So, with approximately 2.24 million EU nationals working in the UK, businesses looking to secure their EU national workforce going forward should consider how they can assist with securing settled (or pre-settled status) for their employees and perhaps, their family members.
Make sure you inform your workforce
Although it is the individual’s responsibility to make an application to the EU Settlement Scheme, businesses may prefer to assist as much as possible. The key issue is to ensure that your EU national workers are fully aware of what their rights and responsibilities are to secure the settled status required.
Employers should not interpret the information provided by the UK government and must be careful not to provide immigration advice, but you are free to raise awareness and reiterate what is required when applying to the EU settlement scheme.
As a business you should ensure that you understand what your duties are during the transitional period.
There is no requirement for an employee to inform the employer that they have applied or the outcome of their application. Likewise, employers are not required to check that an employee has applied. There is however nothing preventing employers from raising awareness of the settlement application process and asking to see the employees letter confirming their settlement status.
The current ‘right to work’ checks (e.g. passport and/or national identity card) will continue to apply and we encourage businesses to ensure they maintain such checks on a continuing basis.
EU citizens can evidence their right to work using the online right to work service, if they choose to do so. However, they are under no obligation to demonstrate their right to work in this way.