The United Kingdom is currently due to leave the European Union on 31 October 2019. If/ when that happens it may impact the right to work in the UK of any employee who is currently working under treaty and the Immigration (European Economic Area) Regulations 2016.

The above regulations relate to citizens of the following countries:

  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Bulgaria
  • Croatia
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Hungary
  • Iceland
  • Republic of Ireland
  • Italy
  • Latvia
  • Liechtenstein
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Malta
  • Netherlands
  • Norway
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Republic of Cyprus
  • Romania
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland

In preparation for the potential change in immigration the government has opened an EU Settlement Scheme to enable people to apply for settled status.

Individuals will be eligible to apply for settled or pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme irrespective of whether the UK leaves the EU with a deal. However, in the event of a no deal it must be done by 31 December 2020.

It is the employee’s responsibility to make any application to the scheme, and to inform the company of the outcome of their application.

As you will be aware, it is illegal for companies operating within the UK to employ people who do not have the right to work in the UK. Any company found to be doing so can be fined £20,000 per illegal worker and, for repeat offenders, a potentially unlimited fine and up to five years imprisonment.

All organisations should review the right to work status of all employees from the above countries in the event of the UK leaving the European Union.

For further advice please call us on 0345 076 2288 or visit the government website, www.gov.uk/settled-status-eu-citizens-families.