The EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement, now in place, means change.

It will require adapting to new rules on people.

Update July 2021 – The EU Settlement Scheme deadline was the 30th of June 2021 and for most people this scheme is now closed for applications. For more information on late applications due to specific circumstances please read more   here


What Does the EU Settlement Scheme Mean for Employers?

The UK government has offered some guidance on what the EU Settlement Scheme means for employers.

  • You have a duty not to discriminate against EEA citizens in light of the UK’s decision to leave the EU as both a prospective and current employer.
  • In addition to this, as an employee can make multiple applications under the EU Settlement Scheme, whilst the EU Settlement Scheme is ongoing an employer cannot remove an employee from their role, on the sole basis of a rejected EU Settlement Scheme application.
  • There is no legal obligation for you to communicate the EU Settlement Scheme, however it may be helpful to signpost the information that the Government is providing (especially the information in the EU Settlement Scheme employers toolkit)­.
  • You do not have to interpret the information provided by the Government and you must not provide immigration advice.
    The “EU Settlement Scheme: employer toolkit” (see link below) has been translated into many European languages and will be beneficial to employees.
  • Here are some examples of how certain employers have assisted their EU employees:
    – Assistance with EU Settlement Scheme applications
    – Workshops for EU nationals which explain the need to make an immigration application
    – Providing webinars, FAQs or other information to employees about the EU Settlement Scheme, British and Irish nationality

How Employers Can Help

Let’s look at some examples of how employers might be asked to help their employees with some advice.

Example 1

Jairo is a Dutch national. He applies for a job at ABC Ltd in May 2019. The owner of ABC Ltd rejects Jairo’s application, simply because Jairo is an EEA national. As that is discrimination based on Jairo’s nationality, the owner of ABC Ltd has acted illegally.

Example 2

Hugo is Portuguese. Hugo makes an application under the EU Settlement Scheme, and that application is rejected. Hugo’s employer dismisses him before the EU Settlement Scheme closes. That is illegal, as Hugo can make multiple applications under the EU Settlement Scheme.

Example 3

XYZ Ltd has given each of their employees a copy of the “EU Settlement Scheme employer’s toolkit”. XYZ Ltd is keen to ensure all its employees make an application under the scheme, so it introduces workshops to show its employees how to make an application under the scheme. XYZ Ltd also trains their HR staff and gets external assistance to assist their employees with applications under the scheme. A staff member asks XYZ Ltd for immigration advice connected to their application. It is illegal for XYZ Ltd to provide this advice.

The Employer Toolkit

The employer toolkit contains relevant materials for you and your employees, including a practical communications plan. The toolkit contains information about the scheme, leaflets, posters social media tips and a glossary of key terminology. 

Employee Information

This information will show will help you understand the application process for the EU Settlement Scheme.

How to Make an Application under the EU Settlement Scheme

There are a number of guides online on how to complete an application under the EU Settlement Scheme, which is fully opened.

We have provided a guide by CJ McKinney, from the “FreeMovement” website. Please click play to view.

Advice for cross border workers

Irish Passport Holders

It should be noted that Irish passport holders do not have to make an application under this scheme, as their rights are protected due to the Common Travel Area.

British Passport Holders

British passport holders also do not have to make an application under this scheme, as they do not require immigration permission to live and work in the UK.

EU Nationals

Generally, other EU nationals who live in the Republic of Ireland (or indeed anywhere in the EU), and worked in the UK or Northern Ireland prior to 31 December 2020 should make an application for a Frontier Worker Permit to obtain proof of their right to work in UK and Northern Ireland.

Right to Work Checks

Whilst there is no deadline to apply for the scheme, it should be noted that “Right to Work” checks are due to change on 1 July 2021. As a result, if an application has not been made it may be difficult for the EU national to prove that they have the legal right to work in the UK.

Family Members

Family members are not covered by the Frontier Worker Permit.

Frontier Worker Permits

Frontier Worker Permits are valid for either 2 or 5 years and can be renewed for as long as a person continues to be a Frontier Worker in the UK or Northern Ireland.

How to Apply

The application is free, and can be submitted online at: https://www.gov.uk/frontier-worker-permit/apply

Further Information

Further information about the scheme can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/frontier-worker-permit