Brexit and Immigration; potential solutions

I’ll admit that this blog is a bit of a misnomer. There are no concrete solutions to the Brexit/immigration conundrum as yet, but, there are steps employers can take to assist their European employees whilst negotiations at Westminster get underway.

To recap, European nationals do not currently need a visa to live and work in the UK. However, they can demonstrate that they are exercising their treaty rights by applying for:

  • an EEA registration certificate
  • a permanent residence card (provided they have been living and working in the UK for a minimum of 5 years) and
  • British citizenship (provided that they have held a permanent residence card for a minimum of 12 months).

Currently none of the above are a prerequisite to lawful employment in the UK. However, given the current climate eligible Europeans may want to consider making the relevant application in order to cement their position in readiness for Brexit.  Employers may wish to offer assistance in helping European employees decide whether they want to make such applications so as to ensure their continued right to work in the UK.  Dual citizenship will need to be given some thought and specialist advice will need to be taken.

Employers too will want to place themselves in the best position for Britain’s post Brexit immigration landscape. Steps include making sure they are in the Home Office’s good books when it comes to preventing illegal working and abiding by sponsorship duties. This will certainly help oil the wheels when it comes to future dealings with the Home Office under whatever system they deem appropriate for our European friends.  An audit of your current recruitment and right to work practices (plus a review of any sponsorship duties) is always recommended and we would be more than happy to assist. Please contact me for more details.

For more information, please contact our Employment team.

Alexandra Christen, Solicitor