This is the next in our series of Q&As with our immigration specialist Kezia Daley, debunking common misconceptions around EU citizens’, and their families’, rights to remain in the UK after Brexit, and providing clarity on what steps need to be taken now. This week the spotlight is on the EU citizens’ employment rights if they haven’t applied to remain under the EU settlement scheme, and moving to the UK after Brexit.
I am an EU citizen and I was told I may l lose my job after the UK leaves the EU if I haven’t applied to remain under the EU settlement scheme, is this correct?
Unfortunately there is a lot of confusion around the right to work for EU, EEA and Swizz nationals. However we hope to clear up any ambiguity around this.
All employers in the UK have a responsibility to prevent illegal migrant working. Therefore they do have a duty to check the entitlement of everyone they plan to employ to work in the UK. They can face a civil penalty if they employ an illegal worker and have not carried out a correct right to work check.
However for a transitional period after Brexit EU citizens and their family members will still be able to live and work in the UK. The EU Settlement Scheme application deadline is 30 June 2021. If the UK leaves the EU without a deal the deadline will be 31 December 2020.
There is currently no change to the way EU, EEA and Swiss citizens prove their right to work. Employers should conduct right to work checks on EU, EEA and Swiss citizens in the same way as now until whichever of the dates apply depending on a deal or no deal Brexit.
Irish citizens will continue to have the right to work in the UK and prove their right to work as they do now, for example by using their passport.
EU, EEA and Swiss citizens will be able to prove their right to work using:
- their passport or national identity card if they’re an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen;
- their biometric residence card if they’re a non-EU, EEA or Swiss citizen family member; or
- their status under the EU Settlement Scheme or EU Temporary Leave Scheme using the Home Office’s online right to work checking service.
What about if I am an EU national planning to move to the UK after Brexit?
EU nationals can still move to the UK to live, study, work as they do now. However, they will not be eligible to remain under the EU Settlement Scheme. Instead, they will have to apply to the European Temporary Leave to Remain (“Euro TLR”) Scheme which is a system specifically for EU citizens moving to the UK after Brexit.
Successful applications to the Euro TLR scheme will be granted permission to live in the UK for a period of 3 years. This will provide EU citizens who move to the UK after Brexit and employers, confidence and certainty that they have secure legal status in the UK before the new immigration system proposed by the UK Government is introduced from January 2021.
Therefore as long as an application to remain in the UK is made before the 30th June 2021, or if we leave without a deal before 31 December 2020, there should be no reason why an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen will not be permitted to continue to work in the UK.