The UK’s exit from the European Union is set to result in major changes for UK businesses that they will need to prepare for if they are to continue to attract and retain the best and brightest from across the world.
EU citizens will no longer have access to freedom of movement and will be subject to the same criteria as Non-EU citizens. For those EU nationals currently living and working in the UK, they will need to apply for the UK government’s EU Settlement Scheme to continue doing so and businesses can offer their EU employees support and guidance around the application process.
UK businesses will also need to adapt their recruitment processes and familiarise themselves with the UK's new points-based immigration system which is set to take effect from the 1st January 2021.
Please see below for more information on the EU Settlement Scheme and the UK’s future points-based immigration system.
The EU Settlement Scheme was set up by the UK Government for EU and EEA citizens who currently live in the UK. The scheme allows for EU citizens and their family members to continue living, working and studying in the UK after the 30th June 2021.
Successful applicants to the scheme are designated either settled status or pre-settled status and this ensures that they will continue to have access to education, healthcare and pensions. The EU Settlement Scheme is open for applications and those eligible for the scheme will have until the 30th June 2021 to apply.
Whilst there is no legal obligation for employers to communicate the EU Settlement Scheme directly to their employees, businesses may wish to raise awareness of the scheme amongst their employees.
Employers should familiarise themselves with the additional checks they will have to undertake when employing EU citizens with settled or pre-settled status after the 30th June 2021.
To ensure compliance with right to work duties, it is important that employers take the time to review their organisation’s onboarding policies and processes and make sure that their HR personnel have received the necessary training to perform the additional document checks correctly.
The UK government has set out their plans for the UK’s new immigration system which is scheduled to come into effect on the 1st January 2021.
Under the new system, the government plans to end freedom of movement from the EU after the transition period ends and implement an immigration policy which treats EU citizens and non-EU citizens equally.
The government’s proposals involve points being assigned for specific skills, qualifications, salaries or professions. A visa will only be granted to foreign nationals who reach the minimum points threshold which is set at 70 points. They will also need to prove that they meet the required level of English proficiency and have a job offer from an approved sponsor at the required skill level.
The new system will prioritise highly skilled workers including scientists, engineers, academics and sets a general salary threshold of £25,600 following the recommendations put forward by the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC).
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