With a Brexit deal in principle agreed with the EU, things have changed in relation to the rights and status of EU citizens living within the UK. Thankfully, this will stay the same until 30th June 2021. EU, EEA and Swiss citizens and their family members already in the UK (if they arrived before 31st December 2020) will be able to take advantage of the ‘Free-to-apply EU Settlement Scheme’. If the application for this is successful, this will give an Employee the right to work and live in the UK for a 5 year temporary period or permanently, dependent on their application criteria. It’s free to apply to this scheme and is usually quite straightforward. The scheme is open for new applicants until 30th June 2021.
If you are looking at employing EU Nationals during 2021 this is where things have changed and therefore it is vital you are up to date on these changes before considering employing EU Nationals. From 1st January 2021, free movement will end and the UK will introduce a points-based immigration system, like in many other countries, providing the ability for employers to recruit from outside of the settled workforce through becoming a registered sponsor.
Employers will need this licence if they wish to recruit EU and non-EU citizens under most work routes, although some applicants will qualify under the non-sponsored routes in their own right.
Employers without a current sponsor licence in place will need to apply and obtain one before employing EU and non-EU citizens.
For more information on Employing EU Nationals from 1st January 2021, please visit https://www.gov.uk/guidance/employing-eu-citizens-in-the-uk or contact us directly.