Post Brexit Working in the UK
As we know the UK recently left the EU and for better or worse and it’s meaning changes to the Employment of people who aren’t UK Citizens. Some of which are people who might want to apply for jobs on our website.
Key dates for this are:
1st January 2021 – Brexit Transition Period ends. EU, Swiss and EEA Citizens resident in the UK beforehand (Pre Settled Status) can still use their passport as proof of right to work in the UK until…
30th June 2021 – EU or EEA Citizens must now apply to the EU Settlement Scheme (Employers you can’t ask for proof of Settled or Pre-Settled status before 30th June 2021)
What do these terms mean?
Pre Settled Status – Given to someone resident in the UK before 31st December 2020 but also lived in the UK Continuously for less than 5 years, at the point they apply to the EU Settlement Scheme (June 2021). This allows to remain for a further 5 years after that date. They can then go on to apply for Settled Status if they so wish.
Settled Status - This is given to employees that live in the UK continuously for over 5 years and then apply to the EU Settlement Scheme (remember after June 2021) then they can remain in the UK as long as they like and may be able to apply to become a British citizen.
If you are going to have been in the UK over 5 years by June 2021 then you qualify for Settled not Pre Settled Status. Depending on your plans you may want to opt for the Settled Status which for all intents and purposes is permanent.
So, if you are not a UK Citizen this will affect what activities happen around your accepting a job offer in the UK. You knew this already.
A bit about me - I work in recruitment and part of my job involves keeping up with the law around my job. I’m also a company Director of a Recruitment Agency/Business so some of this stuff I do need to know.
I am not a qualified lawyer and the above/ below is my opinion and not legal advice.
Now, for all of the talk of Settled and Pre Settled status there is obviously a second-Actor in this process. Enter The Employer. The Governments own website provides guidance as follows for both employee’s and employers on the same page and I quote:
“The job you’re offered will need to be at a required skill level of RQF3 or above (equivalent to A level). You’ll also need to be able to speak English and be paid the relevant salary threshold by your sponsor. This will either be the general salary threshold of £25,600 or the going rate for your job, whichever is higher.
If you earn less than this - but no less than £20,480 - you may still be able to apply by ‘trading’ points on specific characteristics against your salary. For example, if you have a job offer in a shortage occupation or have a PhD relevant to the job.”
This guides both the employee and employer and was taken directly from the Governments own website and you can see the source following the link here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/new-immigration-system-what-you-need-to-know#skilled-workers
If you’re not already a licensed sponsor and you think you’ll want to sponsor migrants through the skilled worker route, you should apply now.
There is then an application process which the company you are looking to work for / or you (if that’s you!) needs to complete.
The Process goes:
(1) Check you are eligible (It seems to be mainly checks on criminal activity)
(2) Pick The Licence (Permanent Vs Temp / Seasonal)
(3) Assign an Authorising Officer, Key Contact and Level 1 User.
(4) More “Suitability” Checks (Again it seems to be mainly checks on criminal activity)
(6) Pay some Money (see below)
(7) Wait 8 Weeks for a Decision.
Image Credit: www.gov.uk
Company leaders who may look into this, frankly you will spend worse £1,500’s in your life than getting one of these licences. So. this to me would seem a no-brainer.
How does Settled Status work in practice ‘on the ground’:
For Employee’s arriving after the 1st January 2021 a Visa is required under the UK Governments Immigration System. This gives you a ‘check code’ for an online system that proves your immigration and visa status. Effectively your ‘Right to Work’ check that used to be showing a passport. The Visa can only then be issued to job offers from an approved employee sponsor (see above). This is the part that is going to be tricky as I’m not personally sure how many have gone in for this especially with COVID and such going on. HR or other leadership should know this in whichever organisation you’re dealing with.
Lets wrap this up, what did we cover here?
- Employers should be ok in many cases to continue to employ EU, Swiss and EEA nationals via this provided they arrived in the UK prior to 1st January 2021 and therefore have a check code, and you are also registered to do this.
- Definitely remind these current employee’s that are EU, Swiss or EEA to apply for the EU Settlement Scheme as well.
- Current right to work in the UK checks are the same until 30th June 2021 provided the employee arrived in the UK before 1st January 2021 and you’ve registered.
- Employee’s arriving after 1st January 2021 need the correct Visa. I’d refer you to someone more qualified than me on this if this affects you.
- You need to get / provide proof of Settled or Pre Settled status only after 30th June 2021.
If you are interested in working in the UK, and have read this from another country perhaps with questions then I’m happy to discuss what I know and try and help you out. I’ll always find time individually or set up a Teams/Zoom call if it’s a larger group.
I hope this helps shed some light on things / helps out a little and do keep in touch with us.
LiCa Scientific Ltd
All views my own, this is an opinion piece intended to summarise and help shed light, and not intended to take the place of qualified legal advice in any way whatsoever. If in any doubts please consult a qualified legal counsel.