On 4 March 2019, the UK government published guidance for employers wishing to recruit EU seasonal workers to work in farming and food businesses after the UK leaves the EU. At the time of writing it is not known whether the exit date will be 29 March 2019 or whether this will be delayed under an extension to the Article 50 process.
If the UK leaves the EU with a deal, there will be no change to current arrangements for EU citizens in 2019 and 2020 regardless of whether the UK leaves the EU with a deal or not.
What do I need to do an as employer with a “deal”?
As an employer you will need to continue to comply with current UK employment law.
If the UK leaves the EU with no-deal, the following provisions will apply (until 31 December 2020):
- EU citizens who arrived in the UK before the exit day will be entitled to remain and work in the UK indefinitely through the EU Settlement Scheme.
- EU citizens who arrive in the UK after the exit day will be automatically entitled to remain and work in the UK for three months without a visa.
- EU citizens who arrive in the UK after the exit day but wish to remain and work in the UK for longer than three months will be required to apply for European Temporary Leave to Remain. The application will involve an identity and criminal record check, along with a security check. If these checks are passed, the applicant will be entitled to remain in the UK for up to three years
What do I need to do as an employer with a “no deal”?
As an employer you will need to:
- continue to comply with current UK employment law; and
- for any EU employees arriving and staying in the UK for up to three months post the exit day, you will need to ensure that those employees are aware that they will need to apply for European Temporary Leave to Remain and if they want to stay in the UK for more than three months during the transition period.
Employers should consider supporting their employees by signposting them to guidance.
From 1 January 2021, the UK government has announced its intention to introduce a skills-based immigration system and we will watch closely to see what this looks like for employers.
If you have any questions about the contents of this article or in general please contact a member of our Employment or Agriculture Teams on 01603 610911.
Note: the content of this article is for general information only and does not constitute legal advice. Specific legal advice should be taken in any specific circumstance.