EU Settlement Scheme
The EU Settlement Scheme deadline is just around the corner - Have all your staff applied?
Most EU citizens living in the UK (as well as those from the EEA and Switzerland) need to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme to gain Settled Status so they can continue to live and work in the UK after 30 June 2021. The pandemic is having an impact on application times to the EU Settlement Scheme, so it’s vital that people apply as soon as possible. In some cases applications take months to decide.
You need to consider the impact on your organisation if staff do not have Settled Status, as they will not be able to work.
It is important that European citizens and their non-EU family members apply for pre-Settled Status or Settled Status before 30 June 2021 to avoid any interruption of rights and entitlements after that date, for example they will not be able to:
- Rent a home
- Apply for a mortgage or driving licence
- Sign mobile telephone, utility or broadband agreements
- Have Access to NHS healthcare
What does the EU Settlement Scheme mean for employers?
Your obligations as an employer
- there is no legal obligation for you to communicate the EU Settlement Scheme, however, you may wish to direct employees to the information that the government is providing.
- it is the responsibility of the individual to make an application to the EU Settlement Scheme. There is no requirement for the individual to inform you, as their employer, that they have applied or the outcome of their application. Likewise, you should not check that an employee has applied.
- you have a duty not to discriminate against EU citizens in light of the UK’s decision to leave the EU as both a prospective and current employer. You cannot make an offer of employment, or continued employment, dependent on an individual having made an application.
- you should not interpret information on the EU Settlement Scheme provided by the government and you must be careful not to provide immigration advice for your employees, unless you are qualified to do so.
- EU citizens must be resident in the UK by 31 December 2020 to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme. The deadline for applications to the EU Settlement Scheme is 30 June 2021
- from 1 January 2021, the UK will introduce a points-based immigration system. You will need to be a licensed sponsor to hire eligible employees from outside the UK. Anyone you want to hire from outside the UK, excluding Irish citizens, will need to apply for permission in advance. Further information is available at uk/HiringFromTheEU
EU Settlement Scheme guidance can be found at gov.uk/eusettlementscheme
Access further information
The Home Office has set up various channels for you to access information about the EU Settlement Scheme:
- access EU Settlement Scheme guidance and refer your employees to the application start page at uk/eusettlementscheme
- view the employer toolkit at uk/settledstatus-employer toolkit to download communication materials to share with your EU citizen employees. Digital and social media assets are available to download via the online platform Brandworkz.
For information on how to prepare for the UK’s points-based immigration system, visit gov.uk/HiringFromTheEU
Translated information on GOV.UK
Local charity Diversity Voice, in partnership with Somerset County Council are working with the Home Office to provide help from regulated advisors for employers. They can provide free posters and hand-outs for staff and provide 1:1 help for applicants in any language, please contact Diversity Voice via firstname.lastname@example.org or 0300 075 0105