People

How Brexit will affect recruitment and staff retention

Essential information on employing EU staff and sending staff to the EU after Brexit.

The Government has published guidance for businesses on employing EU, EEA and Swiss citizens in the UK. This covers right to work checks, the EU Settlement Scheme and the UK’s new immigration system, which applies from January 1, 2021.

This has major implications for businesses looking to recruit staff from outside the UK. There is more information about the new points-based immigration system in this guidance, this policy paper and an employer pack.

Employers will need to register as a licensed sponsor to hire eligible people from outside the UK. You can download the guidance on sponsoring workers from overseas and sign-up for email updates on immigration matters. There is specific guidance on seasonal agricultural workers coming to England to pick fruit and vegetables on farms.

There is a tool for employees who are EU, EEA and Swiss citizens who want to stay beyond December 31. It guides them through the steps to take. In most cases this will mean applying to the EU Settlement Scheme. There is additional advice for frontier workers, defined as EU, EEA or Swiss citizens who are employed or self-employed in the UK but live elsewhere.

There is an Employer Toolkit to enable businesses to support staff applying to the Settlement Scheme, information to share with employees, an explanatory video, a video on using the ID verification app, a step-by-step guide to what employees should do next and a link to start an EU Settlement Scheme application. Once they have applied, there is guidance on processing times.

In addition, the law firm Napthens has produced a summary for employers on the impact of Brexit on your workforce.

There is country-by-country guidance for UK nationals moving to or living in EU or EEA countries. The advice is comprehensive and covers residency, work, access to healthcare and passports.

Cumbria Chamber of Commerce has recorded a podcast and webinar with Lee Petts, an HR consultant, exploring what Brexit means for employers.