Important Employment Information Regarding Brexit
The past twelve months have been full of uncertainty and instability, and we at PureKat Consultancy know better than anyone the impact that these challenges have had on the recruitment industry. We know this is an uneasy time for both employers and candidates looking for roles, and we’re proud to say that we have everything in place to safely and securely support you through the challenges that both the Covid-19 pandemic and Brexit have raised.
From the 1st January this year, freedom of movement between the UK and the EU has ended, and a new immigration system has been introduced. This will treat all immigration applicants equally and fairly, wherever they may be from in the world. Importantly for us, this means that anyone who recruits or employs Non-UK workers will need to ensure some extra levels of document checks have been made. Employees from EU nations currently make up over 7% of the UK’s workforce, so it is crucial for us to ensure that the correct paperwork is in place for all of our candidates. To make it easier for our clients and candidates, we’ve broken down some of the main significant points that may impact your employment journey.
For Our Candidates
All EU workers that were living in the UK before 31st December 2020 will need to apply for the EU Settlement Scheme before June 30th in order to continue living and working in the UK after the 30th June, 2021. This EU settlement scheme has been in place since March 2019, and allows anyone who has been residing in the UK for five years or more to apply for “settled” status. Those that don’t yet have five years of continuous UK residency can still apply for “pre-settled” status. Legally, this will grant candidates the right to work in the UK. As a recruiting consultancy, we will need to make sure that all of our EU, EEA and Swiss candidates registered with us have either “settled or pre-settled” status, or have obtained a valid visa by June 30th, 2021. This is a non-negotiable law, to ensure that we are only submitting candidates for employment who are in the UK lawfully.
The deadline for the settlement scheme for those EU, EEA and Swiss citizens who are currently living in the UK is 30th June, and you can apply for the scheme on the GOV.UK website here: gov.uk/settled-status-eu-citizens-families. It is absolutely free to apply to the scheme, but you must ensure that you’ve applied and received a status in order to work in the UK. If you haven’t applied by June 30th, you will lose your right to work in the UK. For those EU candidates who have arrived in the UK after January 1st, 2021, the new immigration system means that you will need to obtain a visa in advance of your arrival to the UK.
Moving forwards, as a recruitment consultancy, we will need to verify that all our EU, EEA and Swiss candidates have either “settled or pre-settled” status, or have a valid visa in order to register them with our services. Legally, we must check and ask for evidence of a candidate’s rights to live and work in the UK. We can do this by either checking original documents that prove your right to work, for example a valid visa in addition to a European passport, or by checking your right to work online using a “share code.” All Non-UK candidates can use the GOV.UK website to view their own right to work record, and then provide us with a share code which allows us to access the same information. This allows us to confirm that our candidates have the right to work in the UK, and save the evidence that we have conducted the right to work check for our own records. You can see more information regarding share codes and sharing details of your right to work at the GOV.UK website here: gov.uk/prove-right-to-work.
There is no need for us to recheck the right to work for any existing workers that have moved to the UK prior to December 31st, 2020, and that we have already placed in employment until after July 1st, when the new right to work checks come into legislation. After this time, a passport or ID card on its own will no longer be considered sufficient for a right to work in the UK, and all of our non-UK candidates will need to have already applied for “settled or pre-settled” status. If candidates have not applied for the settlement scheme by then, the deadline will have passed and workers who haven’t applied will no longer have the right to work in the UK. It is therefore absolutely crucial that you have applied for the settlement scheme by June 30th.
For Our Clients
All of our clients can be rest assured that we are doing everything correctly to ensure that any candidate we put forward for a role, whether temporary or permanent, has the right to work in the UK. We already have procedures in place to make certain that we have checked documents and confirmed information before we register any candidate for our services. We adhere to the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) Code of Professional Practice, and are transparent about taking our responsibilities as a recruiter to heart. You can read more about our steps to ensure the highest levels of compliance to professional standards on our Compliance page.
We Take Our Responsibilities to Heart
At PureKat Consultancy we pride ourselves on our professionalism and rectitude, so it is of the utmost importance to us that we are doing everything we can to continue to fulfil the government’s rules on employment. We are passionate about giving all candidates every opportunity to demonstrate their right to work, and we will never discriminate on a candidate’s nationality. We know that this may be a lot of information to take in, but we’re dedicated to doing everything possible to support both candidates and clients alike through this uneasy Brexit transition period. If you’d like to get in touch to discuss any questions or queries you may have please feel free to give us a call or drop us an email and we’ll do what we can to make employment easy for you.