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Brexit – What Employers Need To Know

With the coronavirus pandemic we’ve all been a bit distracted recently from the fact the UK is currently in an implementation (or transition) period of leaving the EU, which is due to end on 31st December 2020.

Key facts;

  • The freedom of movement between the UK and EU will end on 1st January 2021;
  • From 1st January 2021 Company’s will need to have a sponsor licence to hire people from outside the UK;
  • The UK will introduce an immigration system that will treat all applicants equally, regardless of where they come from;
  • The new system will not apply to EU citizens already employed in the UK. Although employees will need to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme in order to continue living and working in the UK past 30th June 2021.

What do employers need do for employees who are EU citizens?

It is an individual’s own responsibility to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS) to remain living and working in the UK after 30th June 2021. Successful applicants of the EUSS will get one of the following grades;

Settled status – this will be given to those who have lived continuously in the UK for five years and enable the holder to remain in the UK indefinitely.

Pre-settled status – this 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 in the UK.

Employers have a duty not to discriminate against EU, EEA or Swiss citizens, and cannot require an employee to evidence their status under the EUSS until after 30th June 2021.

The EUSS is now open and individuals can apply online using the link below. It is free to apply to the scheme, the deadline for applying is 30th June 2021.

Please note individuals applying must have started living in the UK by 31st December 2020.


Companies can support employees who are EU nationals to apply for a settled or pre-settled status under the (EUSS) by 30th June 2021. Companies should start having conversations with EU employees about what their intentions are so action can be taken accordingly.

Recruiting new EU citizens after Brexit?

In order to recruit and employ someone from outside of the UK after 1st January 2020, an employer will need a sponsorship licence, with a new points-based immigration system being introduced.

Applying for sponsorship:

  1. Check your business is eligible;
  2. Choose the type of licence you want to apply for (tier 2: skilled workers with long-term job offers or tier 5: skilled temporary workers)
  3. Decide who will manage sponsorship within your business; and
  4. Apply online and pay the fee.

Sponsor licences are valid for 4 years; however a Company can lose their licence if they do not meet the sponsor responsibilities.

Key milestones to remember:

If you would like further HR guidance or support on this matter or require advice on other people management matters please contact Clover HR on 0121 516 0299 or email us at info@cloverhr.co.uk

Copyright Clover HR

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