The Home Office recently launched an employer toolkit, which equips employers with the necessary information to support EU citizen employees applying for settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme (‘Scheme’).
The Scheme will allow EU citizens and their family members to remain living and working in the UK, if they are already resident or arrive here before the 31 December 2020.
What is the tool kit for employers and why was it launched?
The tool kit has been put together by the Home Office to help employers communicate the EU Settlement Scheme to their staff. It was created to help provide clear and concise information to EU employees and their families of the eligibility criteria required to apply for settled status and the process for doing so, as well as educating employers on what is expected of them during their employees’ application.
What does the EU settlement scheme mean for employers?
The tool kit highlights an employers’ duty to not discriminate against EU citizens in light of the UK’s decision to leave the EU, and confirms that the current ‘right to work’ checks (EU passport and/or ID card) will still apply until the end of 2020. There will be no change to the rights and status of EU citizens living in the UK until 2021.
The kit states that employers are not expected to fund/support the cost of their employees’ application and that they are under no legal obligation to communicate the EU Settlement Scheme. When communicating the toolkit, employers should be careful not to provide immigration advice and should seek legal advice where necessary.
When and how to apply?
The scheme will be phased in later this year and will be fully open by the end of March 2019. Applicants who are resident by 31 December 2020 have until have until 30 June 2021 to apply.