Published in People Management on 23 June 2021
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Our Immigration Manager, Karendeep Kaur spoke to People Management about “What should HR do before the settled status deadline?”
The deadline for applications to the EU Settlement Scheme is 30 June 2021. From 1 July 2021 EU passports, national ID cards or previously issued EEA residence documents will no longer be sufficient to prove an individuals right to work in the UK. EEA citizens will also be required to show that they either have settled or pre-settled status or a valid visa.
What should HR do before the settled status deadline?
Applications must be submitted by the individuals themselves, but HR professionals can offer support or remind those eligible to apply before the deadline.
Employees should also be reminded that their family members also need to apply to the scheme. However, firms should not demand that their employees seek settled status, as EU citizens are not obligated to apply to the scheme.
Karendeep stated that “it may be useful to remind employees that a failure to apply will mean losing access to employment, benefits, the rental market, the NHS and the individual may be subjected to other sanctions”.
How should businesses proceed after 1July?
When hiring new EU nationals or their family members employers will need to conduct digital right to work checks.
For those employed before 1 July retrospective checks are not required. It will be sufficient to have valid passport on file for EU workers employed before the deadline.
Businesses should ensure the recruitment process is fair, all candidates are treated the same way at each stage of the process and that there are clear written recruitment procedures.
What if an employee fails to apply?
There are a few exemptions available for anyone who misses the application deadline. These include individuals who have had a serious medical condition or treatment and those unable to apply due to a controlling or abusive relationship.
Karendeep warns that “one of the worst case scenarios of an employee failing to apply for settled or pre-settled status could be that, if they travel abroad, they are refused entry back into the UK or only admitted as a visitor, which would preclude them from working”.
Those who failed to apply before the deadline can be sponsored as a skilled worker if the business holds a sponsor licence.
Immigration enforcement notices may be issued from 1 July to EU citizens found working without settled/pre-settled status or a visa.
Contact us if you need advice on how to conduct right to work checks from 1 July or you would like to sign up to our HR department training.