What you need to know about the EU Settlement Scheme 2021

We are fast approaching the deadline of June 30th for EU citizens to apply for settlement in the UK. Employers can continue to accept the passports and national identity cards of EU citizens as right to work up until the 30th of June 2021 but no later.

It is of course important to be aware of the changes whether they affect you, your staff or your candidates – so we have laid out everything you need to know as clearly as possible for you here!

EU, EEA and Swiss citizens already living in the UK

As of January 1st 2021, free movement will end in the UK and a new point-based immigration system will be implemented, treating EU and non-EU citizens equally. EU citizens and their families who are already living in the UK will need to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme to continue to live, work and study in the UK.

The deadline to apply for the scheme is almost upon us; June 30th 2021. Workers do not need to apply if they are a British or Irish citizen, or if they have valid indefinite leave to remain or enter.

There will be no change to right to work checks until June 30th 2021 and retrospective checks are not required on existing EU employees. Until this date you cannot require EU, EEA or Swiss citizens to show you their status under the EU Settlement Scheme as you have a duty not to discriminate between those that have acquired status, and those who have not.

If EU, EEA or Swiss citizens have received settled status, they can provide this as evidence of their right to work in the UK and this should be verified using the Employer Checking Service in order to provide a statutory excuse.

Anyone entering the UK after January 1st 2021

As of January 1st 2021, a points-based immigration system has been introduced. Under this new skilled worker system, all individuals need to demonstrate that:

  • They have a job offer from a Home Office licensed sponsor
  • The job offer is at the required skill level (RQF or above which is A Level and equivalent)
  • They speak English to the required standard

From January 1st 2021, those who wish to recruit workers from outside the UK’s resident labour market will need to be a Home Office licensed sponsor, which will enable them to recruit workers from anywhere in the world.

This new immigration system means that anyone coming to the UK to work must meet specific requirements in order to score points built on education, salary, skill level and other factors. Those with enough points will be awarded visas.

A total of 70 points is required for individuals to be able to apply to work in the UK. All applicants will be able to trade things such as their qualifications against a lower salary to get the required number of points as while some of the characteristics are mandatory, such as a job offer by an approved sponsor, others are tradeable.

The immigration points system table is available to view here.