CODE continue to monitor developments, although there is differing guidance and much speculation; the government has not withdrawn its intention to apply its EU Settlement Scheme to EU Nationals currently living and working in the UK in the event of a no deal Brexit. The scheme will be fully open by 30th March 2019. Although the majority of UK MPS have voted to back an amendment to avoid the UK leaving the EU without a deal, a no-deal Brexit could still happen, which may mean that the governments post-Brexit immigration plans need to take effect sooner than anticipated.
The Government’s ‘White Paper’ published on the 19th December 2018, sets out its plans for a skills-based immigration system post Brexit. The White Paper confirms a single system giving access to skilled and highly skilled workers from all countries (sponsored by a UK employer) and employers will be pleased to hear that there will no longer be a cap on the number of workers who can enter the UK under Tier 2. Under the new system, employers will not need to undertake the Resident Labour Market Test before sponsoring migrants. Low skilled workers from low-risk countries will be able to come to the UK to work for a maximum of 12 months, plus a cooling-off period of a further 12 months and will not require sponsorship from an employer. The Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) are continuing to consult with the Government on the development of the system.
With the uncertainty surrounding post Brexit and the declining flow of both EU and non-EU migrant workers, Practice owners should make work force planning a priority to ensure they have the team members and skills necessary to provide patient care. Employers are being urged to focus on their recruitment strategies (Total HR team can help with this), invest in training to address potential skills gaps and keep team members incentivised to stay longer term.
The government has published a new web portal to provide information and advice to businesses and individuals on how they can prepare for Brexit which you can read here.
Steps to take:
- Check if any of your team are from the EU, so that you can plan what you need to do and fully support them
- Think about your recruitment requirements, for example, are there any positions that may need to be filled by the 29th March 2019
- In the event of a no deal, carry out full right to work checks by October 2020. Which means to obtain original versions of one or more of the acceptable documents (i.e. passport/residence permit) check these in front of your team member and keep a copy on their personal file. See Engagement of Non-UK Personnel (M 230)
- Sign up to CODE Total HR for additional support and guidance during the Brexit process
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For more information on CODE’s Total HR service visit codeuk.com/hr or call the team on 01409 254 416.