Horizon can help your business remain compliant as right to work checks become more complex through Brexit and we will support your retention of EU Nationals through the transitional periods with a Brexit Retention Action Plan.
From 1 July 2021, EU citizens and their family members in the UK must apply to hold lawful UK immigration status under a new ‘settlement scheme’. The introduction of this new settled status will mark the end of freedom of movement for EU citizens in the UK. Your EU personnel may have questions about what to do and whether they qualify for the new scheme, or they may wish to secure permanent residence status before the new system comes into force. Ensuring your workforce has access to up-to-date information will help to reassure them of any concerns.
An ‘implementation period’ will run between 29 March 2019 and 31 December 2020, at which point, settled status will replace permanent residence status. EU citizens and their family members with settled status will have the right to remain in the UK indefinitely and have access, as they currently do, to healthcare, pensions and other benefits in the UK.
Those who are in the UK by 31 December 2020 but have not attained the requisite five-year qualifying period will be eligible for ‘pre-settled status’. With this, they are permitted to stay in the UK until they have reached the five-year point, when they can apply for full settled status.
Applications will cost £65 for those aged 16 or over and £32.50 for children under 16. Applicants will be asked to provide their biographical information, declare whether they have any criminal records, and upload a facial photograph. The process requires verification of the applicant’s identity and nationality using a passport, ID card or other valid document, which can be done using a smartphone app or through secure post. Those who already hold a valid permanent residence or indefinite leave to remain document will be able to transfer to settled status free of charge.
With the new scheme will come the need to police EU citizens’ immigration status. This will inevitably fall to UK employers as part of their existing Right to Work document checks. Remember the existing penalty for failing to do so prior to the commencement of employment could result in fines of up to £20,000 and/or imprisonment.
Now is a good time to ensure your policies and processes are compliant with your Right to Work obligations and that relevant personnel are adequately trained and skilled to perform the document checks correctly.
Take a step in the right direction and speak to Horizon if you are concerned about the impact of the new settlement scheme, retention of your EU Nationals (we can help them apply for settled status) or your businesses immigration compliance.
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