Working in the UK post Brexit – A brief guide to the changes

Working in the UK post Brexit – A brief guide to the changes

It may have been one of the most contentious and divisive events of modern times, but at least Brexit finally has a deal, and we all know where we stand in terms of settlement and working in the UK. That has to be good news for the many recruiters for whom the uncertainty for overseas workers has meant a lot of understandably worried clients and candidates.

Compliance is always a tricky area, and that is why we are proud to be HMRC approved and able to offer a range of solutions to ensure that your workers are meeting the requirements. As you know, without being able to prove you have taken due diligence to ensure you are not employing an illegal worker, you could be open to some pretty hefty consequences.

Manual proof of compliance falls into three steps.

  • Obtaining original versions of appropriate documents
  • Checking the validity of the documents
  • Making and retaining appropriate copies.

Suitable documents will include proof of permanent or temporary right to work. Assuming the individual is on the Home office right to work register that can also be used to help prove compliance.

In fairness, it is not so much that the process was and still is complex. It is more that the process needs to be precise, and it can be a little bit convoluted when it comes to evidencing. All in all, it is a time-consuming duty that must be done. That is why we have worked to create software services to remove the burden from you.

What about the settlement scheme in 2021?

This is a related area to compliance and may well still be relevant. The settlement scheme has been in place for some time now, so hopefully, most candidates we intend to settle in the UK have applied and been listed. If you have people on the books who need to apply, they really should, because time is running out. The scheme will stop in June 2021, and after that date, they can no longer apply, so anyone who still needs to register, do so and ensure that they:

  • Show that they actually live in the UK
  • Can prove their identity
  • Have declared any criminal convictions

There is a very clear process online and, unless there is a problem with the application, it should all go through reasonably quickly and settlement will be granted.

Proving right to work for existing UK based EU workers will not change until June 2021.

Will this all change next year?

The short answer, yes. The old right to work is based on being an EU citizen, and therefore, it is intimately tied up with the right to free movement. This has now ended and will be replaced with a new points-based system, which will not differentiate between EU nationals and the rest of the world. Essentially this means that all non-UK workers will need to follow the same process.

Under the points-based system, there will be visitor, student and ‘work’ visas. A suitable visa will be required to work in the UK regardless of the point of origin of the worker. The only exception to this is citizens of the Republic of Ireland.

As with any visa, there will be minimum requirements that the individual will need to meet, including:

  • A minimum skill level equivalent to A level
  • English language requirements
  • A salary equivalent to £25,600 or the going rate for the job in particular circumstances.

The worker will also need to be sponsored by a licenced sponsor. This licence will need to be applied for and approved prior to any visas being applied for.

So, it’s a change in terms of what will be required, but compliance will still need to be proved. Fortunately, we are here for you to help. Call us and let’s chat about how we can make compliance and payroll solutions less of a headache in 2021.

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