From 1 January 2021, freedom of movement between the UK and EU will end and the UK will introduce an immigration system that will treat all applicants equally, regardless of where they come from. Anyone you want to recruit from outside the UK, excluding Irish citizens, will need to apply for permission first.
Once successfully registered on the EU Settlement Scheme, EU citizens can continue to live and work in the UK free of immigration control, i.e. those with settled status (or pre-settled status) won't need visas to live or take up employment in the UK.
Businesses who want to be able to employ new skilled workers after 1 January 2021, won't be able to employ a non-British national or EU citizen who is subject to immigration controls and requires a work visa to work in the UK if the company does not have a Skilled Worker Licence. However, it is important to note that there will not be a general route for employers to recruit from outside the UK for jobs offering a salary below £20,480 or jobs at a skill level below RQF3 (A-level equivalent). This means the elimination of the low skilled workers route is likely to have a significant impact on both employers in certain industries (manufacturing, retail, hospitality, construction, care services, etc) and the public (from, for example, resulting in increased costs and reduced service providers).
This last step is important for employers to ensure their workforce still has the right to work in the UK. Don’t forget, all employers in the UK have a legal responsibility to prevent illegal working and you can be fined up to £20,00 per employee for not completing the appropriate right to work checks. Note that non-UK citizens who do not apply for the correct residence status by the deadline would be considered to be in the UK unlawfully and therefore it would be a criminal offence for employers to employ them, risking the fines outlined. Don't assume it can't happen to you - in just a 3-month period, businesses in the North-West alone were fined £370,000.
Talk to Emma at Embrace HR if you need more help with any of the above - email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01204 292007. We can provide a comprehensive range of documentation, including checklists, declarations, sample paperwork, status check and share code information and letters for employees, along with details about skilled and 'un-skilled' workers and licence costs - get in touch now!
All information on this site is correct at the time of publication based on the latest guidance from Gov.UK and other trusted and verified employment law sources.
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