Resources For Employers
COVID-19 (Corona Virus) response.
Brexit & the right to work
As an employer, we know that you are working hard to protect your employees’ best interests in this time, while simultaneously acting in line with the UK’s guidance and employment laws.
Local employers have been raising questions with us around Brexit and employing EU nationals. In these complicated times, we have put together a resource to help you support your staff, protect your business, act within the law and be prepared for changes to come.
Which employees will be affected by Brexit?
Current employees affected by Brexit will be:
- workers from the EU, EEA or Switzerland,
- workers that commute from the Republic of Ireland to work in your business,
- workers that are UK nationals but have family members from another EU country – e.g. a spouse or partner,
- students from another EU country working in your business – e.g. completing a scholarship or student placement.
How to prepare your team
EU, EEA or Swiss citizens and their family members who are living in the UK before 1 January 2021 need to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme to continue living and working in the UK after 30 June 2021.
We recommend sharing information about the EU Settlement Scheme with your team using our template letter for employers:
Right to work checks: between now and June 2021
There will be no change to the way EU, EEA and Swiss citizens prove their right to work until 30 June 2021.
Employers should conduct right to work checks on EU, EEA and Swiss citizens in the same way you currently do until 30 June 2021.
Remember you have a duty not to discriminate against EU, EEA or Swiss citizens. You cannot require them to show you their status under the EU Settlement Scheme until after 30 June 2021.
You can find detailed guidance here.
Right to work checks: after June 2021
After the 30th June 2021, employees face losing the right to live and work in the UK unless they have status under the EU Settlement Scheme, or status under another category of the Immigration Rules such as a Tier 2 or Tier 5 visa.
The impact on employers is to increase the complexity and costs of recruitment and right to work compliance. If employees do not have the necessary documents in place, it may also put you in a position where you cannot continue to employ them or offer employment to certain applicants, which can cost the business in terms of talent acquisition and retention.
Getting it wrong can also result in criminal liability, as well as civil penalties and fines. This is an important moment to look at your options and ensure that you are compliant with right to work obligations to avoid disruption for your employees and for your businesses.
If you have any questions, or would like any further information, please contact us.