In the midst of ongoing Brexit chaos, on 21 January 2019 the Government expanded the pilot scheme for EU citizens to obtain Settled Status in the UK to secure their rights post-Brexit.

Whilst we still don’t know what the final Brexit deal with look like, or indeed if there will be a deal at all, the rights of EU citizens in the UK and vice versa was one of the quicker points to be agreed in principle; the current stance being that EU citizens will have to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme in order to guarantee the continuation of their current rights to live and work in the UK. Depending on how long an individual has been in the UK they could be granted Settled Status or Pre-Settled Status.

Full implementation of the scheme is planned for the end of March, to coincide with the date the UK leaves the EU.

The Government has also recently announced a scheme where, in the event of a no deal Brexit, EU citizens can come to the UK on a temporary basis.

With all the uncertainty, many employers are unclear about their next steps.  The Home Office has issued an employer toolkit to help employers give information to their EU workers and their families about the Settlement scheme, comprising guidance on how to use it and associated information to give to employees. However, many employers may still be confused as to the finer details of the scheme and what difference a deal or no deal Brexit will make.

Employers will need to know how Brexit affects their staff retention and recruitment plans, as well as what to do to ensure ongoing compliance with matters such as right to work checks. Employers also need to understand future changes to the immigration system, particularly if they’re heavily reliant on EU workers at present.

For legal advice on the EU settlement scheme and the steps you will need to take to ensure EU workers can remain working for your business post-Brexit, get in touch with Farleys Solicitors on 0845 287 0939 or email us.