Brexit: People and Skills


The UK’s exit from the European Union has brought about major changes for UK businesses and they will need to take action to ensure that they can continue to attract and retain the best and brightest from across the world.

EU citizens no longer have access to freedom of movement and are subject to the same criteria as Non-EU citizens.

For most EU nationals living and working in the UK by the 31 December 2020, the deadline for them to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme was the 30 June 2021. Following the closure of the EU Settlement Scheme, the UK government has introduced new right-to-work checks from 1 July for EU nationals who will no longer be able to use their passport or national identity card to prove their right to work in the UK.

UK businesses also need to adapt their recruitment processes and familiarise themselves with the UK's new points-based immigration system which came into force on the 1st January 2021.

Please see below for more information on the EU Settlement Scheme, changes to right to work checks introduced in July 2021 and the UK’s future points-based immigration system.

What you need to do now?

The end of the transition period has brought about significant changes to the ways in which businesses recruit and engage with employees and people from the European Union.

We have outlined below some practical steps that businesses should take to prepare for these changes. Please note that this information does not constitute legal advice and there may be further aspects or steps specific to your business or industry which you may need to consider.

Please click the link below to access the checklist.


For EU Nationals within your workforce

✓ Ensure EU citizens already in your workforce have applied for Settled Status

To prepare for the new immigration system

✓ Review your organisation’s onboarding processes and ensure that HR personnel are able to perform the additional right to work checks they need to undertake when employing EU nationals from July 2021

✓ If you are expecting to hire further skilled staff from the EU post-Brexit transition period but do not have a sponsor license now is the time to look into what it would involve and apply if it is right for your business

✓ If you already have a sponsor licence, look into whether the types of roles you hire for could be impacted by the changes to the UK immigration system from 2021

To prepare for business travel

✓ Make sure that any employees travelling to the EU from 2021 have a valid passport. They will need to renew their passport if it has less than 6 months remaining or is 10+ years old

To prepare for undertaking work within the EU

✓ Check whether your employee's professional qualifications are recognised by the appropriate regulator in each EU country they intend to carry out work in.


Applications to the EU Settlement Scheme

The EU Settlement Scheme was set up by the UK Government for EU and EEA citizens living in the UK prior to the 31 December 2020. The scheme allows for EU citizens and their family members to continue living, working and studying in the UK.

The deadline for most EU citizens to apply has now passed (30 June 2021) but there are limited exceptions whereby EU citizens can still apply to the scheme after the 30 June. Businesses should also familiarise themselves with the additional checks they will have to undertake when employing EU citizens with settled or pre-settled status.

View Briefing Paper Here

What is the UK points-based immigration system?

The UK government has introduced a new points-based immigration system that came into force on the 1 January 2021. Under the new system, freedom of movement between the EU and the UK has ended and the government has implemented an immigration policy which treats EU citizens and non-EU citizens equally.

The new immigration system involves points being assigned for specific skills, qualifications, salaries or professions. A visa will only be granted to foreign nationals who reach the minimum points required which is set at 70 points.

View Briefing Paper Here


3 Months to Go until Brexit: People & Skills

On the 31st December the Brexit transition period will come to an end. This will bring about a number of key changes for businesses.

View Here