Settled Status and Right to Work

It seems like collectively the country has been talking non stop about Brexit since June 2016 and with the 29th March approaching it’s worth highlighting the future requirement for EU citizens to apply for settled status.

If you employ people who are not British but are EU citizens they will need to apply to the EU settlement scheme to continue living in the UK after June 30th 2021. If their application is successful they will either obtain a status of ‘settled’ or ‘pre-settled’, both of which allows them to remain and work in the UK. Pre-settled status is usually given to those without five continuous years of residence in the UK.

The UK has also agreed that Irish citizens can remain permanently and have already agreed deals with Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Switzerland that allow their nationals (as they are currently not part of the EU) to apply to the settlement scheme from 30th March 2019 onwards.

There are some exceptions to the above.  Anyone who has Dual citizenship (with one part being British or Irish) or ‘indefinite leave to enter’ and remain in the UK does not need to apply to the settlement scheme.

It is also worth noting that the following scenarios DO NOT exempt a person from having to apply:

  • being born in the UK
  • having moved to the UK before it joined the EU
  • being a family member of someone who does not need to apply
  • being married to a British citizen

If an employee has previously had a criminal conviction they may not receive settled status, however this will be judged on a case-by-case basis and relates to major convictions. If they have been to prison it’s likely that they will need 5 years continuous residence following their release to be granted settled status.

The ability to apply online will go fully live on 30th March 2019 however people can currently apply now during the test phase. Applying during the test phase will come at a cost; £32.50 for under 16’s and £65 to anyone over the age of 16, however this will be refunded once the system opens fully. Application in the test phase can also only be completed using an android phone.

Anyone who is given settled status will usually be eligible to apply for citizenship 12 months after their status is approved.

If you are an employer who relies on EU citizens to make up a part of your work force, it would be useful to remind employees of the need to apply for settled status before the deadline in 2021. Until that point the usual Right to work checks should still be conducted for all employees.

By Kris Kerins BSc (Hons) PGC (Tech Mgmt)Risk Services Adviser

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