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Finding your way through Brexit as a HR Professional

As of 1st February 2020 the UK is no longer a member of the European Union (EU), and is now in an implementation period (also referred to as a transitional period) as part of the UK-EU Withdrawal Agreement.

What does this mean?

During the implementation period the UK is no longer a member of the EU but will continue to be part of the single market and customs union, and as a result the UK will remain subject to EU rues including free movement of labour.

Initially nothing has changed, current rules and arrangements will remain and will not change or be effected until the end of the implementation period. The implementation period is due to end on 31st December 2020.

Companies should start to take appropriate steps to plan and support their workforce ahead of the changes which will take effect from the end of the year.

What are the key milestones?

31st January 2020 UK formally leaves the EU and the beginning of an ‘implementation’ or transitional period. EU/EEA/Swiss nationals retain existing free movement rights in the UK and vice versa.
Spring 2020 UK Government to announce final post-Brexit immigration policy
31st December 2020 End of the transitional period
1st January 2021 New immigration system introduced
30th June 2021 Extended deadline for settled status applications for EU/EEA/Swiss citizens in the UK before 1st January 2021.

What should we do if we have EU citizens working in the company?

Companies should support employees who are EU/EEA/Swiss nationals to apply for a settled or pre-settled status under the European Settlement Scheme (EUSS) by 30th June 2021.

Settled status 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 [1].

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 [1].

Companies should start having conversations with EU employees about what their intentions are so action can be taken accordingly.

The CIPD advise that line managers are briefed to have one-to-one conversations with their team members to find out how they are feeling about the UK leaving the EU. Line managers can find out if employees have started the application for settlement status and offer support through the process.

What will the new immigration system look like?

The current plan is for the UK to have a single immigration system for all nationalities from 31st January 2021.

The government’s White Paper sets out some of the policies that are likely to feature and include:

  • A minimum salary threshold of £30,000, although there will be some exemptions, especially for public service occupations.
  • A minimum skill threshold of RQF Level 4 (A-level occupations).
  • A Youth Mobility Scheme that will allow 18-30 year-old EU citizens to live and work in the UK for a period of up to two years.
  • A one-year temporary visa for unskilled and skilled workers [1].

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



  1. https://www.cipd.co.uk/




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