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Supporting EU Employees Political uncertainty and the differentiation of EU workers who have long been present in the UK is a very real issue affecting employee wellbeing

O

n 16 January, Chamber members and organisations from the retail,

finance, legal, consulting, tourism, and banking industries came together to discuss the latest on the impact of Brexit on professional services, individuals and businesses. Speakers were Oliver O’Sullivan, Associate, and Gareth Wadley, Partner, of Gateley PLC. The event was chaired by Angela Hepworth, Corporate Policy and Regulation Director, EDF Energy, Neil Sherlock CBE, Partner, Senior Adviser of PwC. The Forum heard that Brexit, in

UK for that length of time. ‘Pre-settled’

a new immigration regime that might

the form it finally takes, will have a

status will be issued for five years, but

restrict the roles being undertaken from

significant impact on employers who

the moment a holder of this status has

talent from the EU.

have relied on labour from the EU.

been in the UK for five years (including

In their presentation, Gareth Wadley

The future immigration proposals

time before the issue of this current

in the Home Office's white paper would

and Oliver O’Sullivan highlighted the

status) they will be allowed to apply for

bring changes whereby the recruitment

key changes to be expected in UK

'settled' status. 'Settled' status means

of EU nationals from January 2021

immigration law over the next two

that the individual has a permanent

would become far more expensive and

years, and how these changes relate to

right to live in the UK beyond Brexit.

far more restrictive in relation to the

current workforces and workforce plans for the future.

New applications can be made for

'skill' level of the job and the salary on

those who are resident in the UK before

offer. Many ‘lower-skilled’ jobs being

31 December 2020, although this could

undertaken by EU nationals at minimum

EU to the UK looks certain to end. In

be brought forward to 29 March 2019,

or living wage would be impossible to

both ‘deal' and ‘no deal’ scenarios, the

or whichever date the UK leaves the EU,

offer to workers from outside the UK

change would be expected at the end

in the event of a 'no deal'.

from 2021.

Free movement of labour from the

of 2020, after which a new immigration system will apply to EU citizens. The Home Office are slowly rolling

The speakers advised assessing

Gareth and Oliver stressed the

current workforces to see which

importance of planning in terms of

employees might be eligible for either

UK-based roles to assess how they fit

out a scheme to enable EU nationals in

'pre-settled' or 'settled status' and

with these future immigration rules. It

the UK to apply for either ‘settled’ status

evaluating how they can be assisted. It is

is likely these changes will impact how

on the basis of having lived in the UK for

also sensible to evaluate the roles being

companies develop UK talent and/or

at least five years, or ‘pre-settled' status

undertaken by EU nationals at present

the location of business operations that

where they have not yet lived in the

to assess the impact on the business of

require low-skilled EU workers. I

Free movement of labour from the EU to the UK looks certain to end. In both ‘deal' and ‘no deal’ scenarios, the change would be expected at the end of 2020, after which a new immigration system will apply to EU citizens 12 - info - spring 2019

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