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Brexit update

Published: 05 March 2018
Area of Law: Brexit, Business Immigration

Brexit update: Finally a breakthrough for EU citizens and their employers

A recent policy paper published by the government finally gives employers some of the clarity they have been seeking on EU citizens’ residence rights post-Brexit. This has come at a crucial time for businesses where numbers of EU citizens leaving the UK are on the increase and the skill shortage is widening.

What does the policy paper say?

  • EU citizens arriving to the UK after March 2019 and during the proposed transition period will have the right to permanently settle in the UK
  • They will be allowed to apply for ‘temporary status’ under UK law to enable them the chance to build five years of continuous residence required for settled status
  • EU citizen’s family members can also register for temporary status during the transition period to be eligible for settled status once they have accrued five years residence
  • Registration will be required within three months of arrival and there will be a three month grace period at the end of the transition period for applications to prevent a ‘cliff-edge’

What does this mean for employers?

This is a key milestone in removing some of the short-term uncertainty for employers, with the key announcement being that businesses will be able to continue to employ EEA member citizens after the UK’s exit from the EU on long-term/permanent contracts.

However, whilst this is a positive short-term step, it is important that businesses continue to plan for change. Employers need to ensure they are prepared for future recruitment and attracting labour talent beyond Brexit.

Read more about the announcement and what this means for employers in our latest article in Personnel Today

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