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I’ll have a B please Bob (Brexit that is!)

With the 29th March fast approaching, we haven’t talked too much about Brexit and what that means in terms of employment law.  That’s mostly because there are still many, many unanswered questions.

What we do know is that EU nationals who do not have indefinite leave to remain but have been resident in the UK for 5 years or more must apply for Settled Status before 30th June 2021 or before 31st December 2020 if the UK leaves the EU without a deal.  Please be aware though, the government have already moving the goal posts on this by announcing a £65 application fee for the settled status scheme and then subsequently removing the £65 fee on the launch day.

Although this change was announced on 21st January 2019, if an EU national applies for settled status between now and 30th March 2019 when the scheme opens fully, they will have to pay the £65 fee which will then be refunded.  Sigh.

So, what should you, as an employer be doing?

If you employ EU Nationals, we would encourage you to support them to make their application for settled status as soon as feasibly possible.  We’d strongly recommend that you allow them some time and resources (as the application must be made online) during work hours to make the application and that you keep records of the assistance you have provided.  This is important because there are no guidelines issued yet which set out who would be considered at fault if a business were found to be employing EU nationals without settled status.  It could come back to your door, in other words!  Besides, why wouldn’t you want to support your staff to make sure they can legally stay and work in the UK?

As information becomes available regarding employment law and Brexit we will keep you posted.

You can find more information on the process and what documentation is required on the government website.

 

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