Brexit: Frequently Asked Questions for Clients
1. What are the key milestones for people professionals?
1 January 2021: New, points-based immigration system comes into force
30 June 2021: Extended deadline for EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS) applications for EU/EEA/Swiss citizens who were in the UK before 11pm on 31 December 2020
1 July 2021: Employers required to check whether their EU/EEA/Swiss members of staff have the right to work in the UK, including through the EUSS
2. What should I do if I have EU citizens working in my organisation?
- Firstly, check that EU/EEA/Swiss nationals and their families have applied for settled or pre-settled status under the European Settlement Scheme (EUSS) by 30 June 2021. If not, provide the support and information they need to do so making them aware of the deadline for applications and the consequences of not meeting this.
- Irish nationals do not need to apply for settlement status to travel to or to live and work in the UK by virtue of the Common Travel Agreement (CTA).
- 3. What does ‘settled status’ and ‘pre-settled status’ mean?
EU/EEA/Swiss citizens living in the UK before 11pm on 31 December 2020 are eligible to apply for permanent residency through the EU Settlement Scheme. The deadline for applications is 30 June 2021.
- Settled status is given to those who have lived continuously in the UK for five years and allows the holder to remain in the UK indefinitely.
- Pre-settled status will be given to those who do not yet have five years’ continuous residence. Individuals with pre-settled status can apply for settled status once they have accrued five years’ continuous residence. The application process can be undertaken via any mobile device or computer.
- Refer to the GOV’s guidance to ‘Employ EU citizens in the UK’ for more details.
4. Do applicants have to be in the UK physically to make their EUSS application?
No, it is possible for applicants to apply from the EU but they must meet the eligibility requirements of the scheme.
5. Can I ask my EU staff what their intentions are?
Yes. Have this conversation with your employee’s welfare in mind. Brief your managers to have a simple one-to-one conversation with their team member to find out how they are feeling currently about the situation. Ask if settlement status has been applied for, for them and their family and provide the offer of help to navigate the process and complete the online application.
6. Do we need to check if our EU citizen employees have applied for settlement status?
Employers do not need to check until after 30 June 2021, provided they have conducted a compliant right-to-work check at the start of employment. However, employers should communicate the importance of applying for settlement status before 30 June 2021 as this may result in losing their right to live and work in the UK.
7. Do employers need to see or show evidence that their EU citizen employees or candidates were in the UK before 1 January 2021?
No, there is no such obligation on employers.
8. What are the types of visa that give non-UK and non-Irish citizens the right to work in the UK?
There are a number of visas available for which they may be able to apply, based on their purpose/criteria, length of stay, work rights etc.
For a detailed list, refer to the ‘Work visas’ page.
9. What is a Frontier Worker permit?
A Frontier Worker permit lets EEA nationals come to the UK to work while living elsewhere.
They may be eligible if all of the following apply:
For more information, please visit the ‘Frontier Worker permit’ page.
- they’re from the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein
- they live outside of the UK
- they have worked in the UK by 31 December 2020
- they have kept working in the UK at least once every 12 months since they started working here
10. What is the new immigration system?
The UK has introduced a points-based immigration system from 1st January 2021 that treats EU and non-EU citizens equally. Irish citizens can continue to freely enter, live and work in the UK.
Free movement with the European Union (EU) ended on 31 December 2020 and there are new arrangements for EU citizens.
For more information, please visit the ‘New immigration system: what you need to know’ page.
11. What are the minimum requirements to recruit a skilled workers?
Anyone you recruit from outside the UK for the Skilled Worker route needs to demonstrate that:
If the job will pay less than this – but no less than £20,480 – the applicant may still be able to apply by ‘trading’ points on specific characteristics against their salary. For example, if they have a job offer in a shortage occupation or have a PhD relevant to the job.
There are different salary rules for workers in some health or education jobs, and for “new entrants” at the start of their careers.
For more information, please visit the ‘Recruiting people from outside the UK’ page.
- they have a job offer from a Home Office licensed sponsor (your company)
- they speak English at the required level
- the job offer is at the required skill level of RQF3 or above (equivalent to A level)
- they’ll be paid at least £25,600 or the ‘going rate’ for the job offer, whichever is higher
12. What is the cost to employ a skilled worker?
When taking into account all visa costs, sponsorship costs, and additional immigration charges outlined in the new system, companies will face a bill of nearly £10,000 in order to hire a skilled worker on a five year visa.
For more information, please visit the ‘UK visa sponsorship for employers’ and the ‘Skilled worker costs’ page.
13. What will the post-Brexit immigration system mean for right-to-work checks for EU/EEA/Swiss citizens?
There is no legal requirement to repeat checks for existing employees until after 30 June 2021 when employers will be required to check that EU/EEA/Swiss citizens employed by them have the right to work. Employers should, however, communicate with employees in this category to remind them to apply for settlement status under the EU Settlement Scheme if they haven’t already done so and support them to do this before 30 June 2021. Newly hired employees will need to provide evidence of settled status, pre-settled status or the relevant visa.
For more information, please visit the ‘Employing EU citizens in the UK’ page.
14. How will Brexit impact access to healthcare?
The Withdrawal Agreement guarantees the right to access lifetime healthcare services for the following:
- UK citizens legally resident in EEA countries
- EEA citizens legally resident in the UK before the end of the transition period
- Frontier Workers
- those who live in both the UK and an EU state
For more information on the access to healthcare in the UK and other countries, please access the ‘Migrant health guide’.
15. How does Brexit Impact me?
Complete your full assessment on the ‘GOV Transition’ page.
16. What support can I receive from The Best Connection?
With a dedicated ‘Brexit Working Group’, The Best Connection can offer guidance and advice on how to mitigate the impact of Brexit on your business. Please contact your local office or write to us at email@example.com.