Yes, we are all fed up with hearing about Brexit, but while all the bluster has been going on, nine months have passed since the government published its long-term proposals for post-Brexit immigration. Chartered Institute of Personnel & Development (CIPD) research found that 58% of employers had either not heard of the UK’s future skills-based immigration system or had no knowledge of its contents.
The main principles in the proposal are that: –
- skilled workers will have to be sponsored by an employer;
- there’s a suggested minimum salary threshold of £30,000 per annum;
- no limit to the overall number of visas issued;
- there is likely to be a transitional system allowing temporary workers scheme to come to UK without a job offer for up to 12 months at a time.
The Government has faced criticism because these proposals are all geared to higher-skilled workers whereas a large number of employers, relying on EU citizens to take up minimum wage roles, can expect significant change. The hospitality and travel sector as well as caring professions can expect to be widely affected.
Another challenge to watch out for is that currently EU citizens make up one in eight of the UK workforce. According to official figures, more than half a million EU citizens applied to the EU Settlement Scheme last month, which has renewed concerns over the growing backlog of applications from European employees looking to stay in the country after Brexit.
Recent figures reveal that there will be a backlog of applications totalling 275,500 at the end of September which could cause problems with the current Brexit deadline current still set for 31 October.
So, is there anything you can do as an employer to protect yourself?
- Carry out a ‘late’ risk assessment of your workforce / roles to be filled
- Ensure your current employees feel valued and speak to them directly about the challenges
- Support them with any settlement visas applications.
Hafton partners with immigration lawyers who can offer support with legal aspects of the EU settled status or any or other aspects of moving to the UK. If you believe your organisation would benefit from further advice please get in touch with Hafton by giving us a call or email us at email@example.com.
One of Hafton’s clients has offered financial support to their employees applying for EU settlement status, asking them to give a guarantee that they will stay for an agreed period.