Is Your Business Ready For Brexit?
2nd December, 2020
The new Skilled Worker visa route is now available allowing UK businesses to recruit the best talent from around the world.
The new route will apply to EU, EEA, and Swiss nationals from 01 January 2021 that are not residing in the UK by 11pm on 31 December 2020.
Do You Employ EU nationals?
Employers must continue to carry out right to work checks in the same way until 30 June 2021.
- You may accept passports or photo national ID cards from EU, EEA and Swiss nationals until 30 June 2021
- Family members of EU, EEA, and Swiss nationals must provide their Biometrics Residence Permit (BRP) or immigration status document (e.g. family permit issued for 6 months as a family member of an EEA national)
- EU, EEA, or Swiss nationals and their family members are not required to provide evidence of their status under the EU Settlement Scheme until after 30 June 2021. You are under a duty not to discriminate against them and refuse employment on this basis
- EU, EEA, and Swiss nationals and their family members may use the online right to work checking service. You should then use the share code to check their entitlement to work using the employers’ online service
- Irish citizens will continue to provide their right to work in the UK as they do now
EU Settlement Scheme
The scheme was introduced by the Home Office on 29 March 2019 for EU, EEA, and Swiss nationals and their family members to apply for ‘settled status’ or pre-settled status’ in the UK depending on the length of stay in the UK on the date of the application. Applicants residing in the UK for 5 years before the date of the application can apply for settled status and would normally be granted indefinite leave to remain in the UK.
All EU, EEA and Swiss nationals and their family members must apply under the EU Settlement scheme by 30 June 2021.
The Home Office will confirm the status by email for all EU, EEA, and Swiss nationals. You will only be issued a Biometric Residence Permit if you are residing in the UK as a family member of an EU, EEA, and Swiss national.
We recommend that you advise your employees to apply under the EU Settlement scheme as soon as possible. There is no Home Office fee for the application.
How important is it for Employers to carry-out relevant checks?
Employers are placed under a positive duty to perform on-going right to work checks for all employees and may face sanctions for failure to do so.
- A penalty of up to £20,000 per worker may be imposed as a starting point
- Criminal proceedings may be initiated with a maximum sentence of 5 years imprisonment
Do you need to apply for a Sponsor Licence?
Existing sponsor licence holders do not need to apply for a sponsor licence following the changes. You should log-in to your Sponsor Management System (SMS) as normal and will note that systems have been updated.
It can take anything up to 8 weeks from the date of submission of the application for the Home Office to grant your application to become an approved sponsor.
The sponsor licence is granted for 4 years and may be renewed using the Sponsor Management System before expiry.
We recommend that you apply for a sponsor licence if you operate in a competitive sector and wish to employ the best talent from around the world including Europe from 01 January 2021.
Employing the right personnel from overseas can help your business to target the overseas market and experience growth.
You should also consider applying for a sponsor licence if you do business in Europe and wish to continue to employ specialist staff from overseas.
You will also be able to offer employment to overseas students that have completed their studies and are seeking work in the UK.
Other categories introduced by the Home Office
The Government seeks to improve the UK economy by introducing routes for overseas companies to set-up in the UK and for individuals to set-up a business in the UK.
Representative of Overseas Business – this route is for a senior employee of an overseas business who is assigned to the UK to establish a presence in the UK.
Global Talent visa – an option for migrants with exceptional talent or exceptional promise in the fields of engineering, humanities, medicine, science, digital technology, or arts and culture.
Start-up visa – for those individuals seeking to establish a business in the UK for the first time.
Innovator visa – ideal for individuals seeking to establish a business in the UK based on an innovative, viable and scalable business concept.
If you would like any advice on how this may impact your business, please contact Ikram Malik.
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