Employing staff from the EU after Brexit

Many businesses across the North East employ staff from the EU. What do businesses need to do in order to prepare for Brexit?

Government guidance advises businesses that there will be no change to the right to work of EU, EEA and Swiss citizens and their family members living in the UK until 31 December 2020.

In addition, the current ‘right to work’ checks which businesses carry out will apply until the end of 2020. 

So until 30 June 2021, potential employees will continue to prove their right to work using either:

  • their passport or national identity card if they’re an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen
  • their biometric residence card if they’re a non-EU, EEA or Swiss citizen family member
  • or their status under the EU Settlement Scheme or EU Temporary Leave Scheme using the Home Office’s online right to work checking service

To help businesses prepare for Brexit, guidance on employing EU, EEA and Swiss citizens is available here.

Seasonal workers

For businesses that employ seasonal workers, Government has advised that businesses can continue to employ EU citizens to work on farms and in food businesses until the end of 2020, regardless of whether the UK leaves the EU with a deal or not.

Guidance on employing seasonal workers after Brexit is available here.

EU Settlement Scheme

While it’s the responsibility of the individual and not the employer to make an application to the EU Settlement Scheme, guidance is available for employers who wish to support EU staff and their families to apply.

The Government’s toolkit for employers is available here.

New points-based immigration system

From 1 January 2021, free movement with the EU will end and the Government will introduce a new points-based immigration system for skilled workers. This will apply to EU and non-EU citizens.

More information can be found here.

Keep up to date

Businesses can sign up for email alerts from Government about the rights of EU and EEA citizens. Sign up here.

For the latest government advice on Brexit, visit the North East Growth Hub’s free Brexit Toolkit or visit www.gov.uk/brexit.