Recent comments by the Home Secretary about potentially ending free movement immediately in the event of no deal Brexit caused a significant level of uncertainty for businesses, and anxiety for current EU staff about their future.
The government has confirmed employers will be able hire EU workers on the same basis as now after a no deal Brexit
Following frank conversations with the new government, the Home Office has updated proposals around ‘European Temporary Leave to Remain’ (ETLR). This is now a voluntary status, rather than previous proposal to be compulsory after 90 days, which is only required to stay beyond 31 December 2020. ETLR provides a 36-month temporary immigration status to EU citizens who arrive from 1 November after a no deal. After this 36-month period, such EU nationals will be required to apply under the new immigration system in order to stay.
Employer right work checks are not changing until 2021 at the earliest
Employers will continue to be able to hire EU nationals on the same basis as now after a no deal Brexit – by checking an EU passport or ID cards until at least January 2021. Employers will not be asked to distinguish whether EU nationals were here before or after 31 October in a no deal scenario. EU staff already in the UK can be reassured that they still have until 31 December 2020 to apply for the EU Settlement Scheme. Both EU nationals here and new arrivals up until 31 December 2020 will be able to work in the UK, use the NHS, enrol in education, access public funds and travel in and out of the UK on the same basis as now.
The CBI will continue to influence the new immigration system
As part of our campaign to secure access to skills post-Brexit, the CBI is continuing to engage with both the Home Office and independent Migration Advisory Committee on shape and design of the final new immigration system, which will be introduced from 2021 – deal or no deal.
Whilst this announcement protects inward migration to the UK after no deal, UK nationals travelling to the EU for work will be heavily impacted by a no deal Brexit. The CBI is continuing to highlight this risk associated with no deal in both London and Brussels, on behalf of UK business.