Written by Leigh Foster
Brexit is again on the minds of a lot of people and businesses in the UK. A poll was taken on 12th October 2020 and Brexit was cited as the third biggest issue in the country behind health and the economy.
It will impact everyone living in the UK, but businesses will need to adapt immediately because free trade in goods and services across the EU, as well as free movement of employees will change.
There are no businesses in the UK that won’t need to make changes at the end of the transition period, and processes will certainly need to be reviewed. Other considerations for businesses to look into are:
• Delays in ports for goods in customs clearance
• Extra costs involved with customs imports such as administrative overheads, including utilising an EORI (Economic Operators Registration and Identification Number).
• Sourcing local suppliers to avoid possible delay
There will be businesses that rely on EU citizens for a majority of their staffing requirements, such as NHS, hospitality, construction, cleaning services and farming & agriculture. It’s worth taking a look at the government website, under their ‘check, change, go’ campaign for more information on how this could affect your business and existing workforce (https://www.gov.uk/transition).
So, will you still be able to employ EU citizens after Brexit?
The simple answer is yes. Until 30th June 2021, you’ll need to continue the current right to work checks (https://www.gov.uk/check-job-applicant-right-to-work) in the same way you did before Brexit. As of 1st January 2021, EU citizens will require a visa to work in the UK. To get this they will need to show they have a job offer from an approved employer sponsor. Therefore, if your business tends to recruit from the EU you should apply to become an approved sponsor sooner rather than later.
If you have existing employees who are EU, EEA or Swiss citizens, they will need to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme by 30th June 2021. There are 2 kinds of statuses that are awarded:
• Settled – those who have lived in the UK for a continuous five-year period as of 31st December 2020, and;
• Pre-Settled – those without five years continuous residence at that date.
The above does not apply to Irish citizens
As a business you should, if not already, perform a Brexit impact assessment. This can be found here under the ‘Check, change, go’ campaign. (https://www.gov.uk/transition)
Here at Pertemps Managed Solutions we can support you and your business during the upcoming changes. For more information, visit our website and take a look at the services we can offer.