It would seem that many UK companies are cautiously awaiting the fallout from Brexit. From an immigration perspective, this means employers need to understand the immigration restrictions before making international hires.
Currently UK employers benefit from the ability of European Economic Area (EEA) citizens to live and work in the UK free of immigration restrictions. The repercussions of the end of this freedom of movement are beginning to ripple through the employment sector as employers begin to understand that future EEA nationals will need to be sponsored.
The EU Settlement Scheme has provided some relief, although possibly also causing some complacency, as many employers will expect their current EEA employees to have applied under the EU Settlement Scheme and secured their right to work in the UK. However, any EEA nationals wishing to come to work in the UK from January 2021 will be subject to the post-Brexit immigration rules.
What does the end of freedom of movement mean? For UK employers it means EEA nationals will fall into the same category as nationals from outside the EU, such as China or the USA, and will require sponsorship to work in the UK. This is only possible if the employer in question has already applied for, and secured, a sponsorship licence.
The government has made provisions for companies to pre-emptively apply for a sponsorship licence, however few seem to have taken this step. The next four months may well see a significant increase in sponsorship license applications to the Home Office, lest employers find themselves unable to hire anyone from mainland Europe come January 2021.
Gherson is fully equipped to advise in all aspects of sponsorship licence applications and procedures. Should you require any assistance in this regard, please do not hesitate to contact us.
The information in this blog is for general information purposes only and does not purport to be comprehensive or to provide legal advice. Whilst every effort is made to ensure the information and law is current as of the date of publication it should be stressed that, due to the passage of time, this does not necessarily reflect the present legal position. Gherson accepts no responsibility for loss which may arise from accessing or reliance on information contained in this blog. For formal advice on the current law please don’t hesitate to contact Gherson. Legal advice is only provided pursuant to a written agreement, identified as such, and signed by the client and by or on behalf of Gherson.
Paralegal in our General Immigration team