Following Brexit, the government has published an updated toolkit for employers on how to support their employees who are EU citizens (including EEA and Swiss citizens) to apply to stay in the UK. The content includes print and digital fact sheets, leaflets and posters covering the key areas of the EU Settlement Scheme, i.e. eligibility, the application process, the wide range of support available and the deadline for applications. It also includes a template letter that employers can give to their staff and a presentation they can use to introduce the EU Settlement Scheme.
EU citizens and their family members (including non-EU citizens) need to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme to continue to live, work and study in the UK. The deadline for applications to the scheme is 30 June 2021. It is the responsibility of the individual to make an application to the scheme and there is no requirement for them to inform their employer that they have applied, or the outcome of their application. Employers have a duty not to discriminate against EU citizens in light of the UK’s decision to leave the EU and, as such, they cannot make an offer of employment, or continued employment, dependent on an individual having made an application to the scheme.
Job applicants can prove their right to work using any of the following:
- their valid passport or national identity card if they are an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen
- their valid biometric residence card if they are a non-EU, EEA or Swiss citizen family member
- their status under the EU Settlement Scheme using the Home Office’s online right to work checking service.
There will be no change to right to work checks until 1 January 2021 and employers will not be required to undertake retrospective checks on existing employees who are EU citizens. A new immigration system will apply to people arriving on or after 1 January 2021 and new right to work checks will then apply.