The UK Government has released a toolkit aimed at assisting employers who are employing EU Nationals, or who employ family members of EU nationals. This toolkit will be very useful for any employers who currently rely upon employing EU nationals or their family members, or who may wish to do so in the future.
One of the negotiation items which has been agreed between the UK and the EU is that all EU nationals and their family members who currently reside in the UK, or who arrive in the UK before the end of December 2020, will need to apply for ‘settled status’.
There will be a need to make an application for all EU nationals, regardless of whether they have already been issued with documents by the government proving their right to stay.
If any EU nationals do not make an application before June 2021, other than Irish nationals, who are a special category and will not need to apply, then they will no longer have a right to remain in the UK and they will no longer have a right to work.
This places the employee at risk of breaching criminal laws by working without permission, and places employers at risk of civil fines for employing people where they do not have a right to work.
There are approximately 3 million people in the UK who must make an application to avoid becoming unlawfully present. Whilst the Home Office will have discretion to allow applicants in special circumstances to apply after the cut-off date, there is a high risk that any out of time application will be automatically rejected.
The government have released a toolkit for Employers as part of their information campaign to spread awareness of the need for employees to make an application and to avoid finding themselves unlawfully in the UK.
The toolkit that has been released consists of:
- Key things that Employers need to know
- Key Information that can be used for ‘presentations’ or ‘face-to-face events’ or ‘webinars’ with EU Citizen Employees
- Information Videos
- Leaflets which can be provided to EU Citizen employees
- Posters which can be placed in communal areas spreading information
The information has been provided in a way that allows employers to pass on the relevant information without needing to interpret it. The information has been summarised to highlight the key points without going into the nitty gritty. A more detailed statement of intent provides much more information over what the settled status scheme will involve.
There is no legal obligation for employers to provide information to their employees, and, although employers may contribute towards the costs of employees making applications, there is no requirement for them to do so. It is however important that employers do not provide immigration advice to employees as this is not permitted without the necessary accreditation.
To access the governments toolkit click here.
Paragon Law have delivered seminars, workshops and one-to-one advice for EU employees and their family members to provide assistance in light of Brexit. If you are concerned about the potential negative impacts on your workforce, and you employ EU nationals or their family members, please get in touch with your usual Paragon Law contact or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
to see what support we may be able to provide you.