EU Settlement Scheme

EU citizens already living in the UK before the UK leaves the EU can continue to live and work in the UK after Brexit. This right is not affected regardless of whether the UK leaves the EU with or without a deal.

In order for EU, EEA and Swiss nationals already in the UK to continue to live in the UK after 30th June 2021, they must apply for either settled or pre-settled status through the Government’s EU Settlement Scheme.

The EU Settlement Scheme is currently open and free to apply. The deadline for applications is the 31st December 2020. Individuals can apply online through the UK Government website and will be required to provide proof of identification as part of the process.

If the application for EU Settlement Status is accepted, the individual will be given either Settled Status or Pre-Settled Status.

Settled Status is awarded to those who have started living in the UK by the 31st December 2020 (or the date that the UK leaves the EU without a deal) and who have been resident in the UK for a continuous period of 5 years.

Pre-Settled Status is awarded to those who do not meet the Settled Status criteria, but have started living in the UK by the 31st December 2020 (or the date that the UK leaves the EU without a deal). Individuals who receive Pre-Settled Status can apply for Settled Status once they have built up five years continuous residence in the UK.

Employers must carry on making Right to Work checks for all potential new employees prior to their start date. Employers should also check an individual’s settled and pre-settled status.

Employers can continue to check original identification documents as normal, and since January 28th 2019, employers may also be able to carry out online right to work checks. To carry out a check online, the employee must allow their employer to see their data and this is done by the employee obtaining a share code. 

This share code is given to the employer who can then use this online to view the individual’s right to work status via the Home Office portal. The employer must access the service via a share code and take the necessary steps to copy the online data and retain this data, to provide proof of right to work and in order to obtain a statutory excuse.

Julia Sells, HR associate director, said: “There are a lot of rules and regulations around settled status so it’s essential that employers carry out the correct and necessary checks. 

“Online checks and share codes go someway to making the process relatively simple, but it’s important that you are thorough and complete all the steps that are required to ensure an employee has the right to work in the UK. Speak with our HR experts if you have any questions.” 

Find out more here.