The Brexit transition period: what it means for employers

So Brexit has finally taken place but what does it mean for UK employers?  Very little in the short term because under the EU (Withdrawal Agreement) Act 2020, we have now entered a transition period which will run until 31 December 2020.  During this time, things will continue pretty much as before, including freedom of movement between the EU and the UK.

What is the position for employees who were resident in the UK at 31 January 2020?

All EU citizens already living in the UK as at 31 January 2020 have the right to remain in the UK but will need to apply for either Settled or Pre-Settled status by 30 June 2021.

What about EU citizens coming into the UK after 31 January 2020?

Anyone arriving in the UK during the transition period (up to 31 December 2020) will be able to remain but will have to apply for Pre-Settled status.

What about EU citizens who wish to move to the UK after 31 December 2020?

Their ability to live and work in the UK will depend on the new immigration rules which are due to be published later this year and come into force from 1 January 2021.

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What do we know about the new rules?

Many sectors of the UK’s economy are currently heavily reliant on EU members of their workforce. They’ll be looking for reassurance that they will not find themselves deprived of ready access to these potential candidates, future in an already very challenging recruitment market.

There’s been much talk of moving exclusively to an Australian-style, point-based system. However, the Migration Advisory Committee’s published its long-awaited report last month and it recommended a mixed approach. They advocated a minimum salary threshold for those who already have a job offer in place and a points-based system for those who want to move to the UK without a job offer.

They also recommended that the minimum salary threshold (which they had previously advised be set at £30,000) should be reduced to £25,600. This suggested reduction is unlikely to ease the concerns of employers in sectors such as social care, retail and construction.

With effective workforce planning becoming increasingly important in the post-Brexit era, clarity on the new immigration rules is eagerly awaited.

Taking your business into the future…

While we may not be clear on what trade, travel and immigration will look like in the long-term, Citation’s expert team can help guide your business through the transition period and beyond, helping you to manage uncertainty towards a more stable future.

If you’re already a Citation client, we’re available 24/7 on our advice line. Just call us on 0345 844 4848 to get in touch.

Not a Citation client yet? Simply enter your details in the form opposite and one of our team will give you a call and chat you through the ways we can help.

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