THE EU SETTLEMENT SCHEME – DEADLINE FOR APPLYING IS 30TH JUNE 2021
THE EU SETTLEMENT SCHEME – DEADLINE FOR APPLYING IS 30TH JUNE 2021

17 June 2021

The deadline is fast approaching at the end of June 2021 for EU nationals who have been living in the UK since before 31 December 2020, to apply for EU Settled Status or Pre-Settled Status.

When the UK left the European Union on 31 January 2020, it marked the end of the freedom of movement rights EU citizens had previously enjoyed. This had allowed them to move to, live and work in the UK, in most cases with no restrictions.

Now that the transition period is coming to an end, employers, if they have not already done so, should urgently review whether any of their existing employees need to apply through the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS) to remain eligible to continue living and working in the UK.

Workers who have lived in the UK for five years can apply for Settled Status, allowing them to be offered permanent residence. For those who have lived here for less than five years, they can apply for Pre-Settled Status, which will allow them to stay in the UK until five years has elapsed, at which point they can claim settled status.

The scheme also applies to the European Economic Area (i.e. the EU, plus Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein) and Swiss citizens, but Irish citizens are not required to apply.

While the application process is free, applicants must demonstrate that they are in the UK as a worker, student, or self-sufficient person.

They must provide a form of official identification like a passport or driving licence and if they have one, their National Insurance (NI) number.

What do employers need to do?

Employers should make sure that eligible workers are aware of the scheme and the consequences if they do not apply on time.

After 30 June 2021, a new digital system will be launched to help employers check proof of Settled Status. If an employer continues to employ a worker who has not received Settled or Pre-Settled Status, then they risk receiving a hefty fined.

Gill Brown, who is head of the Employment Law Team at Phillips said: “Although the onus is on the employee or worker to apply under the rules of the EUSS, it is also important that employers are aware of the status of their employees and whether or not they have a right to work for them.  Employers should where possible make their employees aware of the EUSS deadline for applying.  Reports suggest that there are large numbers of EU nationals, including family members of workers, who have not yet applied and who may not even be aware that they need to apply.”

“The consequences of failing to apply in time are significant. From 1 July 2021, those workers who have not obtained or applied for Settled Status or Pre-Settled Status will become illegal workers.”

Information about the EU Settlement Scheme is available on the GOV.UK website by clicking here.

If you would like advice on this or any other employment law matter, please contact Gill, by emailing [email protected] or by calling 01256 854605.

Alternatively click here to go to our contact page.

 

 

Disclaimer

This article is current at the date of publication set out above and is for reference purposes only. It does not constitute legal advice and should not be relied on as such. Specific legal advice about your specific circumstances should always be sought separately before taking any action.

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