February 24th, 2020 | Steven Smith, Managing Director EMEA

Preparing for Brexit – Your Questions Answered

Preparing for Brexit

Many organisations looking to plan for the future may feel that Brexit has presented somewhat of a challenge, with the high levels of uncertainty surrounding the topic making forward-planning less than straight-forward. Our recent webinar, “Background Screening, Brexit and Best Practice Considerations for Employers”, revealed that only 5% of employers are comfortable with their preparations for Brexit. With this in mind, we explore the questions posed by employers to our webinar panellists and, with the help of our guests at Fragoman LLP, assist you as your organisation adapts.

EU Settlement Scheme

Should we be actively securing evidence from employees who have secured settled or pre-settled status?
Currently, its not a mandatory requirement for employers. Although, your employees can willingly provide this information to you.

Do we need to request proof of EU settlement status? If so, when should this be done?
Right to work checks remain consistent with requirements that are imposed on employers on 1 January 2021. If your employee is already working for you and you have a copy of their EU passport and ID card on file taken on or before day one of employment, you do not need to seek evidence of applying under the scheme at this time.

What does settled status mean for EU nationals living in the UK? Will they receive UK nationality or is this something different?
Once an individual has settled status they can proceed to naturalise as a British citizen, subject to satisfying the eligibility requirements.

For clarity – you said that we do not need to check the EUSS status of our existing employees. What if they don’t obtain it in time?
Information is being released to guide those who are in the UK but fail to meet the registration deadlines. As an employer, if an EU national is already in employment before 1 January 2021, no retrospective right to work check is required and employment can continue.

If someone is not currently living/working in the UK how long can they stay in the UK without applying for anything?
Post 31 January 2020, they will be able to remain in the UK until 30 June 2021 to secure pre-settled status.

When can we ask our applicable employees if they have obtained or applied for the settlement status?
It is recommended that only new hires from 1 January 2021, are to be requested of their status. This is not mandatory for current employees and should you wish to request, seek employment law advice prior to doing so.

Right to Work

Can an out of date passport be used for a Right to Work check?
If you’re a British or European national this is permissible, but not if a visa document is inside.

If someone has Pre-Settled status, do we need to ensure we complete another Right to Work check when they get settled status in the future?
You will not be required to undertake retrospective right to work checks on EU nationals who already work for you.

What about our relationship with a recruitment agency based in a particular country?
Should the employment agency be sending EU nationals to the UK, until 1 January 2021, right to work checks will remain as they are now.

European Hiring

Is there any information yet on hiring UK citizens to relocate to EU countries in the coming months?
Each member state will have their own immigration requirements. Information is starting to be released but not confirmed.

Would it make sense to use fixed term contracts until things are clearer at the end of Dec 2020?
It is recommended to seek legal employment advice for this question as such action could lead to claims of discrimination.

Is the £30,000 minimum salary for ‘experienced’ workers or will this be the ‘new entrant’ rate?
This is the current Tier 2 General minimum salary threshold.

How can we plan for expatriate staff due to move in the coming months?
As requirements continue to be amended, it would be prudent to check entry and registration requirements periodically with country specialists.

For an employee that splits time between the UK and out what documentation will they need to have after Brexit?
This will be dictated by when they commence employment for you and when they are entering the UK.

And Everything Else

Could we get more information on the impact on business travellers to and from the EU – we have offices in UK, France, Hungary, and Spain?
Each country will have separate entry requirements. It is recommended to seek specific advice for each country as this may differ depending on the circumstances.

Do we need to change our contracts for exchanging data with other organisations outside of the UK?
This will depend on the contract themselves, but in general terms, no.  Contracts that allow data transfers between the EU and the UK will continue to work throughout the transition period, and if there any changes this will become clear within the transition period.

What sort of cost is involved in the application?
The EU Settled Status scheme has no application fee.

Is the health surcharge applicable to EU nationals now and in the future?
The health surcharge is not applicable to EU nationals at this time. It has not been confirmed if this will be applicable under the new immigration system.

Still have a question on your mind? or perhaps your looking for compliant, best-practice guidance on Right to Work –  Learn how we can help!

This publication is for informational purposes only and nothing contained in it should be construed as legal advice. We expressly disclaim any warranty or responsibility for damages arising out this information. We encourage you to consult with legal counsel regarding your specific needs. We do not undertake any duty to update previously posted materials.