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Brexit considerations for employers


Migrant workers and Brexit – some things companies should consider if hiring migrants

Freedom of movement in its current form will change on the 31st of October 2019. There will be issues for employers getting to grips with responding to the new requirements. Residency for EEA and Swiss nationals who have been continuously resident for 5 years will be eligible for ‘settled status’ (no absence longer than 6 months)

Implications for employers for Brexit with a deal

A transitional period will apply from 31st October 2019 until 31st December 2020. EEA and Swiss nationals who wish to enter after Brexit will do the same until the end of the transition period. The main difference will be the need to evidence their right to be in the UK through the settled status scheme.

Implications for employers for Brexit with no deal

The EU settlement scheme will still be implemented following the 31st October 2019. There will be conditions placed on spouses/children/family members with deadlines for joining partners. New visa requirements such as family permits or the new skills system will come into force in the future. These policies may be subject to change as we move forward.

Get new recruits to enter the UK before the 31st of October deadline

In a no deal scenario only EEA and Swiss nationals who are in the UK by Brexit day will qualify under the EU settlement scheme. Employers should check if their organisation has any key recruits who are due to start work shortly after Brexit. Organisations may wish to consider having the recruit enter the UK before 31st October 2019 in order to enhance their rights.

What this means for timing of recruitment for migrant workers

In the event of no-deal Brexit, timing should be factored in for EEA/Swiss nationals’ family members. Family members will no longer be able to enter the UK without prior approval. New recruits may well want to ensure family members visa approvals are in place before accepting a job in the UK. Employers should recognise this.

Sponsorship and expected costs for employing migrants

Employers may wish to consider the new ‘single skills’ immigration system and if it will be helpful for their organisation and whether they should be applying for a sponsor licence now.

Currently under Tier 2 of the points based system is expensive (£8,631 based on a 5 year visa and a minimum salary of £30,000). Organisations should consider whether they will require migrant workers and be aware of the financial impact and budget accordingly.


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