Toolkit: How to retain staff who are EU citizens after Brexit

Important changes are coming for Cumbrian businesses that employ EU citizens.

EU citizens must apply to the EU Settlement Scheme to live, work and study in the UK beyond June 30 next year (the only exceptions are citizens of the Republic of Ireland and those who have indefinite leave to remain or enter).

Rob Johnston, Chief Executive of Cumbria Chamber of Commerce, said: “Employers aren’t obliged to ensure that their staff register. The responsibility lies with the individual. But it’s very much in businesses’ interests to make sure that their employees do register.

“Cumbria’s hospitality and food-processing sectors, in particular, depend heavily on migrant workers from the EU.

“We don’t want see businesses lose vital staff next summer simply because they failed to register. That would be damaging for the business and a tragedy for the individuals affected.”

The Home Office has created a toolkit to help businesses inform their workforce.

It includes a PowerPoint presentation, a template letter to EU citizen employees, a leaflet, poster and factsheets.

Rob added: “There’s a lot of focus on whether the UK gets a trade deal with the EU but the changes around immigration and right-to-work rules are coming whether there’s a deal or not.

“As well as ensuring that they retain the EU workers they already have, businesses need to familiarise themselves with new rules on bringing workers here after January 1.

“The new immigration system means that employers looking to recruit from overseas must become a licensed sponsor.

“The jobs they offer must be at the required skill level, the employees must speak English to the required standard and the job offer must meet a minimum salary threshold of £25,600 a year or £20,480 in some limited circumstances.

“These are major changes and businesses need to plan now to meet their recruitment needs as we recover from Covid.”

Full details of all the changes affecting migrant workers, including the new points-based immigration system, are in the ‘People’ section of our Business Beyond Brexit Toolkit.

This Home Office Podcast explains more about the new immigration system.

© Cumbria Chamber of Commerce