Its not long to go until the deadline of 30 June 2021
All EU, EEA and Swiss nationals living in the UK before 31 December 2020 must apply to the EU Settlement Scheme before the deadline of 30 June 2021 in order to continue to live and work in the UK after that date. Our previous update and more information on the EU Settlement Scheme can be found here.
The Home Office have confirmed that late applications may be accepted where there are “reasonable grounds” for applying later. This is confirmed in the Home Office caseworker guidance which can be found here – EU settlement scheme (publishing.service.gov.uk). The guidance sets out a non-exhaustive list of examples and it makes clear that every case must be considered in light of its particular circumstances.
Advice for employers
If any EU citizens miss the deadline for applying to the EU Settlement Scheme and have no reasonable grounds for doing so as mentioned above, then they will lose their right to live and work in the UK.
In terms of right to work checks, there is no mandatory requirement for employers to undertake retrospective checks on EU nationals who were employed on or before 30 June 2021. As an employer you will maintain a continuous statutory excuse against a civil penalty in the event of illegal working as long as the initial right to work check was undertaken in line with right to work legislation and guidance. However, you must be aware that the situation may be different if you know or ought reasonably to have known that the person does not have the right to work in the UK.
What you need to do
Encourage both prospective and existing employees to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme and to let you know that they have applied and to inform you once the application has been decided. A useful toolkit from the government to assist employers with providing information to support EU citizens to apply to stay in the UK can be found here.
It would be worth highlighting this deadline to your EU workforce and making clear that if they do not do this, then it is likely that they will be in the UK illegally after 30 June 2021.
We can help you with any queries you may have. Please contact Rajveer Basra.