I’ll get straight to the point; since the referendum in June 2016, there hasn’t been much action on the issue of how leaving the EU will affect employment law in the UK. Lots is still unclear, and lots will depend on the shape of the UK’s future relationship with the member countries once we’ve left.
So – among the uncertainty – here’s our expert look at what we believe is likely to happen, and how can your business prepare for it:
- Stricter obligations on employers: Current employment law is here to stay and could become stricter once we leave the EU.
So, take time to between now and next March to understand your current responsibilities and ensure you’re acting in accordance.
- Stricter recruitment and employment of EEA nationals: The government has made it clear it intends the free movement of EEA citizens to the UK to eventually end after Brexit, which suggests that you may struggle to recruit and/or retain overseas talent into your business.
Be prepared for this by taking account of the nationalities within your workforce. Assess who may be affected by Brexit and how this could affect your business, any future recruitment and what options may be available to help you avoid or minimise disruption.
- Proof of right of residence will be paramount: Take the opportunity now to encourage and/or support any EU national employees in your workforce to make applications to evidence that they have a right of residence in the UK.
Encourage employees that have non-EU family members in the UK who are reliant on the status of their EEA family member, to make an application for an EEA Registration Certificate or Permanent Residence Card. These are likely to prove to be valuable documents post-Brexit.
- International student workers should prepare: The UK’s visa system can be complicated at the best of times and is without a doubt, politically charged.
If you employ international students in your business and would like them to remain post-Brexit, take time to help each individual understand the Points Based System which sets out the options for various visa types and the requirements of each.
Charlotte Geesin is Head of Employment Law at Howarths. For more information or support on preparing for the impact of Brexit on your workforce, email email@example.com or call 01274 864999.