SUMMARY: No changes expected during transition period. Check out BCC’s Business Brexit Checklist for information on possible longer-term changes.
During the transition period, employers would face ‘business as usual’ arrangements with respect to European Union (EU) citizens currently living in the UK. EU citizens will be able to enter the UK at any point up until the end of the transition period, 31 December 2020. If they wish to remain beyond the end of the transition period, they will need to apply for settled status.
Those who have been resident in the UK for 5 years will have the right to settle permanently in the UK (‘settled status’) and their family members will also be protected. Those in the UK for less than 5 years will be able to apply for pre-settled status until they have accrued 5 years residency to qualify for the right to settle permanently.
EU citizens with either settled status or pre-settled status will continue to be entitled to work, study, and access public services and benefits on the same basis as they do now. The deadline to register for settled status or pre- settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme is 30 June 2021. As an employer, you can use the Home Office EU Settlement Scheme Employer Toolkit to support your employees to apply for settled/pre-settled status.
Professional qualifications held by EU citizens living or working in the UK before the end of the transition period will continue to be recognised. During the transition period, individuals with professional qualifications may continue to apply for recognition of those qualifications. Any qualifications recognised, or in the process of recognition, by the end of the implementation period will continue to be recognised.
Any Swiss or UK national with a qualification – or in the process of obtaining a qualification – at the end of the transition period will have up to 4 years from the end of the transition period to apply for recognition of their qualifications. All persons with recognised qualifications will be entitled to practice the profession under the same conditions as UK nationals.
Freedom of movement between the UK and EU will end. The government intends to bring in a new UK points-based/skills-based immigration system, replacing the current, reciprocal automatic rights to work and settle.
The status of professional qualifications is unclear: decisions on recognition of qualifications sought after the end of the transition period will be subject to the outcome of future relationship negotiations.