There are now less than 50 days to go until the 30 June 2021 deadline for all EU, EEA, and Swiss nationals and their family members to apply under the EU Settlement Scheme. Individuals who started living (and can prove this) in the United Kingdom by 31 December 2020 are eligible to make an application to the EU Settlement Scheme which, if successful, will allow them to continue to work, study, and access free healthcare and benefits in the United Kingdom after 30 June 2021.
While it is not the responsibility of an employer to make sure their EU employees have applied under the scheme, employers can play an important role by reminding their employees of the fast approaching deadline. We recommend that corporate employers engage with all staff, remind them of the deadline, and provide them with up-to-date information regarding the scheme. As the deadline gets closer, you may need to provide more information and write individually to all staff to ensure that they are clear on deadlines and requirements.
Employers will not need to carry out retrospective right-to-work checks on existing employees after the 30 June 2021 deadline. That said, many employers are planning to check the status of their staff to ensure full compliance. You can also encourage your staff to tell you that they have applied for settled or pre-settled status and/or have received confirmation that their application has been successful.
From 1 July 2021, new EU, EEA, and Swiss employees that you hire will need to demonstrate their right to work either with the pre-settled or settled status, or with a visa under the points-based immigration system.
The Home Office recently published official guidance on late applications. The guidance gives some comfort to those who are unable to meet the deadline, by allowing late applications on reasonable grounds; however, there are no guarantees and applications should still be submitted prior to the deadline wherever possible and to avoid unnecessary uncertainty.
If you have any questions or would like more information on the guidance discussed in this alert, please contact any of the following Morgan Lewis lawyers:
Shannon A. Donnelly