Continued uncertainty surrounding Brexit sees fall in EU workforce in UK – ONS statistics

Businesses unable to make recruitment decisions risk losing talent to competitors – and not just from outside the UK.

Karen Kaur, Migrate’s senior immigration consultant has noticed that some businesses are choosing to put sponsor licences in place in order to avoid uncertainty and get on with job.

Personnel Today spoke to Karen, asking her about the significance of the ONS statistics.

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Migrate UK advises businesses who want to recruit EU nationals to “get them into the country before 29 March” and ensure they are registered.

The British Chambers of Commerce has said a no-deal Brexit would cause significant changes to terms of trade, but businesses lack the information they need to plan accordingly. Key questions have been put to the government about the ability for staff to travel for work in Europe and the availability of skilled European labour in Britain if an exit deal is not agreed by 29 March.


Lauren Rebecca Brown from People Management spoke to Karen Kaur.

Despite the government issuing guidelines in regard to European leave to remain, Migrate’s Karen Kaur warns these are temporary measures.

Kaur advised businesses who know they want to recruit EU nationals to “get them into the country before 29 March” and ensure they are registered. 

EU citizens and their family members already resident in the UK by 29th March 2019 will be welcome to stay under the current rules of free movement. They will have until 31st December 2020 to make an application for ‘Settled’ or ‘Pre-settled’ status.

Once free movement has ended from 30th March 2019, EU citizens arriving from this date for the first time will require permission to remain under the UK immigration rules. For those wishing to stay for more than 3 months, they will need to apply for temporary leave to remain valid for 3 years. This allows work and study but is non-extendable. To stay longer or be able to re-enter, they will need to meet the UK skills based immigration system still under review;

Until the details of any skills-based system are settled, employers can no longer realistically use incoming EU nationals as part of a long-term staffing strategy. British Chambers of Commerce figures released in January revealed businesses across all sectors, particularly manufacturing, were already facing significant and increasing difficulties in recruitment.

With no indication yet of what minimum financial thresholds will exist under the skills-based migration system, any workers given temporary leave to remain may still face having to leave after three years.

“Medium and highly skilled workers are likely to meet the threshold, but lower-skilled workers would be most affected,” she added.

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Home Office releases guidance in the event of a ‘no deal’ Brexit

Migrate’s MD Jonathan Beech highlights main points from Home Office guidelines.

  • EU citizens and their family members already resident in the UK by 29th March 2019 will be welcome to stay under the current rules of free movement. They will have until 31st December 2020 to make an application for ‘Settled’ or ‘Pre-settled’ status;
  • Once free movement has ended from 30th March 2019, EU citizens arriving from this date for the first time will require permission to remain under the UK immigration rules. For those wishing to stay for more than 3 months, they will need to apply for temporary leave to remain valid for 3 years. This allows work and study but is non extendable. To stay longer or be able to re-enter, they will need to meet the UK skills based immigration system still under review;
  • Up until December 2020, the Home Office will not ask employers to start distinguishing between EU citizens who were resident before exit and post-exit arrivals;
  • EU citizens will still be able to use e-gates if they have biometric passports. Until 31st December 2020, EU citizens will be able to enter the UK by showing either a valid national ID card or a passport;
  • Irish citizens are not affected by a no-deal and will continue to have the right to enter and live in the UK as now;
  • The arrangements noted here for EU citizens will also apply to EEA group members (Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein plus Switzerland).
  • Regarding the ‘Settled’ & Pre-Settled’ status application process, this is still in its public trial stage. There is still no obligation for EU citizens to apply, but they can do so as a matter of reassurance. Decisions on these applications are coming though in less than a week in the majority of cases.

The Telegraph speaks to Jonathan Beech

What are the key challenges for small business in 2019?

Caroline Bullock of The Telegraph highlights five ways to manage uncertainty in the year ahead.

Unlock and invest in existing talent

Stockpile to strengthen the supply chain

Find a bank that ‘gets’ you

Be bold with branding

Champion productivity

Caroline sought out Jonathan Beech for insights into how to unlock and invest in existing talent:

“Companies with genuine skilled vacancies should also consider applying for a sponsor licence to sponsor non-EEA nationals to work or study in the UK, so that they have access to a wider pool of talent post Brexit.”

“Highlight whether they’ve got the means of remaining in the UK in the future, be this via a residence permit, card, settlement or permanent residency,” suggests Jonathan Beech, managing director of immigration law firm, Migrate UK.

Read the full article here:

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/challenges/small-business-challenges-2019/

Migrate UK advises businesses – be proactive; do not bury your head in the sand

HR Magazine  Brexit: The latest

With little clarity from the government, what can businesses do?

Karen Kaur was interviewed by HR magazine for her insights into the actions businesses could be undertaking.

“There are some practical steps HR can take in the wake of all of this ambiguity, advises immigration analyst at Migrate UK Karendeep Kaur. January saw the launch of the government’s EU Settlement scheme, allowing EU nationals who’ve been in the UK five years to apply for ‘settled status’, and those who haven’t for ‘pre-settled status’.

“You need to engage with each individual because each person’s situation will be different,” says Kaur. “So HR has to ask its workers questions like ‘are you married?’ Don’t bury your head in the sand as an HRD. Because if there is no deal it could be that we only have a three-month transition period to get statuses sorted.”

 

Read the full article here:

https://www.hrmagazine.co.uk/article-details/brexit-the-latest