Assuming that the UK leaves the European Union at some point in the future (which is looking more and more likely), EU, EEA and Swiss citizens who currently live and work in the UK will need to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme in order to continue to do so.
Whilst the current deadline is 30th June 2021, there is no reason to delay and every reason to encourage any affected staff and new recruits to apply straight away. Provided they have 5 years continuous residence in the UK, most should achieve Settled Status. Those with less than 5 years residency are likely to be granted Pre-Settled Status and switch to full Settled Status after 5 years.
Talk to your employees who fall into this category and ensure they understand how the Scheme works. They will need proof of identity (passport of ID card) and proof of their permanent address (bank statement/utility bill). The service is free of charge and most people can complete the process in a few minutes via a mobile phone app or on the direct.gov website. Generally, whilst decisions are made on a case by case basis, they are made quite quickly. Where criminal convictions are declared these decisions will take a bit longer.
Going forward it is likely that EU citizens will be subject to the same regime as non-EU citizens requiring them to obtain permission to enter and remain through some form of a skills-based immigration system. So, if you want to retain your employees fuss-free, it’s worthwhile making sure they are applying now to remain.
By Angela Stancer – HR Manager and Consultant