Now that the UK has officially left the EU, employers may be wondering what if anything they need to do about current and future staff who are EU nationals. This blog is a whistle stop tour on where we are and what we need to do next.
The first step is to access whether any of your staff are directly impacted by Brexit. This means doing an audit of your staff to see how many EU nationals you currently have working for you.
Remind and Encourage
All EU nationals who were in the UK up until 31st December 2020 are able to apply for an imingration status which will allow them to continue to have the right to work and live in the UK.
There are two types of status which EU nationals can apply for and they are known as Settled and Pre-Settled.
Settled status is available to people who have been in the UK for 5 years or more. Settled status allows EU nationals to work and live in the UK indefinitely providing they do not leave the UK for a period longer than 5 years.
Pre- Settled status is available to staff who have been in the UK for less than 5 years. This status gives them the right to work and live in the UK for a temporary period and those with Pre-Settled status can apply to convert their status into Settled status once they have been in the UK for 5 years.
EU nationals have a deadline of 30th June 2021 to apply, employers should inform and gently encourage staff to apply. However, employers should be careful not to harass staff members.
After 30th June employers will need to check that all staff have the right to work.
If your staff work in a regulated industry you will need to check to see whether their EU qualifications are still valid. In most cases they will be valid but it is still important to check via the .gov.uk website.
EU nationals who arrived in the uk after 31st December 2020 will need to be sponsored by a UK employer if they wish to work in the UK.
Employers must have a sponsorship licence in order to sponsor an employee. There is a cost for the licence and it can take up to 8 weeks for the licence to be approved.
If you currently have staff who require sponsorship or you have a business model which employs foreign nationals it is a good idea to apply for this licence early. You should note that sponsorship is not transferable so you cannot rely on sponsorship provided by a previous employer.
Staff who require sponsorship will be subject to a minimum earnings threshold of £25,600 per year and must be doing a job which has a minimum qualification entry of A levels or equivalent.
The minimum earnings threshold is reduced to £20,480 if the job is listed on the shortage occupation list.
There are also a number of other criteria which the employee or worker must meet in order to be eligible for sponsorship.
Need further information?
We hope that you have found this blog useful, if you require specific information about anything in the blog or any other Employment Law or HR matter please feel free to contact us at http://www.orchardemploymentlaw.co.uk