Warning for businesses to not get tripped up by EU law changes

Time is ticking for businesses that rely on migrant workers from the EU to apply for settled or pre-settled status.

Hundreds of companies across Cumbria have less than a month to ensure their workers are not affected by this fundamental legal change.

EU workers – those already working in the UK before 31 December 2020 – have until 30 June 2021 to make an application under the EU settlement scheme.

This means that:

  • EU workers – which also includes anyone from Liechtenstein, Norway, Iceland and Switzerland – already in the UK before 31 December 2020 can apply for:
  • Settled status(where they have five years’ continuous residence in the UK) or
  • Pre-settled (less than five years’ continuous residence in the UK) status under the EU Settlement Scheme.
  • An early application is encouraged given the impact the current pandemic is having on procession timescales.
  • EU workers who apply in time and are granted settled or pre-settled status will be able to continue to reside and work in the UK, without additional restriction.

Cumbria’s economy has already been heavily hit by the current EU-UK Brexit arrangements with businesses in hospitality and tourism, health and leisure as well as manufacturers and food producers all reporting unprecedent issues in staff recruitment.

While the government has made it clear it will not be re-assessing its immigration policy this year, Cumbria Chamber of Commerce is alerting companies in the hope this impending legal change will not further dent any post-Covid recovery.

Suzanne Caldwell

Cumbria Chamber Managing Director Suzanne Caldwell, said: “Employers need to be aware of these significant changes and ensure that their policies and procedures are adapted accordingly.

“It is crucial that companies ensure that they are complying to prevent illegal working and protect themselves from potential substantial penalties, while being in the best position possible to attract and recruit talent from across the globe.

“We are already very concerned for businesses that are dealing with unprecedented challenges in the labour market. The last thing we want to see is any further setbacks hampering a recovery at such a critical time.

“Hospitality, manufacturing and a host of other sectors need a post-Covid recovery, whether that’s through an increase in sales or staycations, and aren’t stalled by legal changes.”

Cumbria Chamber of Commerce member Muckle LLP are offering to share their legal expertise in an Immigration and Right to work Q&A session being run from 9.30am on 8 June, sign up here.

© Cumbria Chamber of Commerce