The EU settlement scheme

The EU settlement scheme

On 31 December 2020 the Brexit transition period ended, meaning that the UK is no longer bound by EU law.

There are no immediate changes to employment law as all EU employment law had been transposed into UK law prior to Brexit taking effect. However, the end of the transition period does affect immigration rules and documentation.

EU nationals

EU nationals who were already resident in the UK prior to 31 December 2020 have until 30 June 2021 to apply under the EU settlement scheme to ensure their right to continue to live in the UK after 30 June. This includes children.

The EU settlement scheme provides Settled Status or Pre-settled Status, depending on how long the EU national had been resident in the UK prior to 31 December 2020. It is free to apply.

The application is made online, with the required documentary evidence being uploaded via a smartphone app (EU Exit: ID Document Check) or sent by post.

Even if an EU national has a permanent residence card issued under EU regulations, they still need to apply for Settled Status or Pre-settled Status and can do so here

What should employers do?

Employers are not yet directly affected by whether their employees have Settled Status or Pre-settled Status and they cannot currently insist on seeing evidence of their status.

However, in order to avoid potential problems after 30 June 2021 employers should remind staff of the need to apply if they have not already done so.

To avoid allegations of discrimination, and because UK national employees may have family members who are EU nationals, it is advised to send out a general reminder to all staff.

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