Are you confused about new rules following the end of Brexit transition period? If the answer is yes, don't fret because we're here to explain. If you're unsure what changes on 1 July 2021, keep reading. Whether you're a UK employer or an EU/EEA/Swiss worker, we'll tell you everything you need to know!
Brexit Transition Period
You've seen or heard it hundreds of times already - the UK has left the EU. But when exactly? And what changed in the transition period? Well, keep reading and you'll find out!
We Need Time To Adjust
By the end of 2019, the UK and the EU decided on a Withdrawal Agreement which came into effect on 31 January 2020. It set out that the transition period will last until December 31st, 2020.
During that 'implementation period', the UK will no longer be in the EU but remain in the single market and customs union. And it gave time for the UK to negotiate new deals and form new relationships.
So... What DID Change?
Well, the only thing that changed is the UK losing its membership of the EU political institutions by the end of January 2020. Everything else essentially stayed the same.
Basically, if you wanted to come and live or work in the UK as an EU citizen or EEA national, you had nothing to worry about - granted you did it before the end of 2020.
New Year, New Immigration System
To kick off 2021, the UK implemented a points-based immigration system for everyone. Way to start a year... So, starting from 1 January 2021, anyone (apart from Irish citizens) wanting to work or study in the UK needs to have specific skillset and talent required for the visa application.
What A Scheme
But wait, what if you already lived, worked, or studied in the UK before 2021? Does that mean you have to go through visa application process if you're an EU citizen, EEA or Swiss national? No, you don't!
If you were living in the UK before January 2021 you can continue to stay here! BUT you DO need to apply for the EU Settlement Scheme or pre-settled status. You have until 30 June 2021 to submit your application; otherwise new rules will apply.
Let's Settle This
Okay, but what is the difference between settled or pre-settled status? Both allow you to stay and work or study in the UK after 2021. But let me explain how they differ.
If you've resided in the UK for continuous 5 years you may get settled status. However, there are some exceptions which may affect the decision, which you can read about here. Nevertheless, if you're successful you can stay in the UK as long as you want and are eligible to apply for British citizenship.
What if you've been living in the UK for less than 5 years in a row? As long as you've started living here before 31 December 2020, you're eligible for pre-settled status. And, from the day you get pre-settled status you can stay in the UK for further 5 years.
Also, after 5 years of continuous residency in the UK you will be able to apply for the settled status to stay here. But don't forget to apply for settled status BEFORE your pre-settled status expires!
Right To Work After Brexit
After the Brexit transition period ends, UK businesses and employers need to adjust to new Right to Work checks and regulations. But the new rules only come into effect in July 2021. Keep reading to find out exactly how it all works!
Check It Out
For EU, EEA or Swiss workers who arrived to the UK before 2021 there's no change. Right to Work checks are to be carried out by employers as usual up until 30th June 2021.
How are the checks carried out?
- checking the employee's original documents (passport, national ID etc.)
- checking the employee's right to work in an online system using a share code
Whichever method you choose, as an employer you must carry out a correct right to work check or you can face a civil penalty.
What Changes On 1 July 2021?
Starting July 1st, 2021, UK's new immigration system will apply to all, no matter where the candidate is from.
Excluding Irish citizens, if you recruit someone from outside of the UK, they need to meet certain requirements. Here are important things to keep in mind as a UK employer:
- requirements are different for each visa
- you will need sponsor licence to hire the majority of employees coming from outside the UK
- follow-up checks are required for employees with time-limited work permits in the UK
- EEA/Swiss nationals with EU Settlement Scheme digital status will have to provide this evidence to you
- depending on their status, they will be subject to a repeat right to work checks
Notice, that the new system will not apply to EU citizens and EEA or Swiss nationals you have ALREADY employed, before July 1st, 2021.
So, this is what living, working and recruiting in the UK looks like after Brexit. Here at Xpressjobs we go out of our way to help everyone and anyone. So, if you're looking for a job opportunity or just want some advice, contact us and we'll do our best to help you out!