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EU Exit: People

Help for understanding employing EU citizens

EU Exit: People

Employing people from the EU 

The way you hire from the EU has changed. Freedom of movement between the EU and UK has ended and the UK has introduced a new points-based immigration system.

  • If you want to hire anyone from outside the UK’s resident labour market, you must be a Home Office licenced sponsor. This includes recruiting people from the EU.
  • Anyone coming to the UK to work will need a job offer from a licenced sponsor in advance and will need to meet certain skills and salary criteria. The new system treats EU and non-EU citizens equally and transforms the way in which employers recruit from outside the UK.
  • The new points-based immigration system has salary and language requirements that change the way you hire from the EU.
  • You need a sponsor licence to hire most eligible employees from outside the UK. This does not apply to Irish citizens.
  • The new system doesn’t apply when hiring Irish citizens, or EU citizens eligible to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme.
  • Some immigration routes, such as Global Talent, are ‘unsponsored’. You don’t need a licence to hire employees with an unsponsored visa.

Find out more at GOV.UK/hiringfromtheEU

Download our EU Exit Guide for People here:

Further Information

Other Guidance

Contact the Growth Hub

M2M02 EU Exit Driveworks

Your responsibilities as an employer

EU citizens and their family members (including non-EU citizens) need to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme to continue to live, work and study in the UK. Employers may wish to communicate with their EU staff about the EU Settlement Scheme.

There is no legal obligation for you to communicate the EU Settlement Scheme, however, you may wish to direct employees to the information that the government is providing. It is the responsibility of the individual to make an application to the EU Settlement Scheme. There is no requirement for the individual to inform you, as their employer, that they have applied or the outcome of their application. Likewise, you should not check that an employee has applied. You have a duty not to discriminate against EU citizens in light of the UK’s decision to leave the EU as both a prospective and current employer. You cannot make an offer of employment, or continued employment, dependent on an individual having made an application. You should not interpret information on the EU Settlement Scheme provided by the government and you must be careful not to provide immigration advice for your employees, unless you are qualified to do so. You can access a toolkit which shows you as an employer how you can support EU citizens and non-EU citizen family members to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme. The deadline for applications to the EU Settlement Scheme is 30 June 2021.


Right to work checks

Job applicants can prove their right to work using any of the following:

their valid passport or national identity card; if they are an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen. Their valid biometric residence card; if they are a non-EU, EEA or Swiss citizen family member. Their status under the EU Settlement Scheme; using the Home Office’s online right to work checking service. There will be no change to right to work checks until 1 January 2021 and you will not be required to undertake retrospective checks on existing EU employees.


Applying for the EU Settlement Scheme

How to apply

You need to complete a short online application form using a computer, tablet or mobile phone. The application will ask you to; prove your identity, prove that you live in the UK and declare any criminal convictions. Successful applicants will receive settled status or pre-settled status, depending on how long you have lived in the UK. You will get digital proof of your status through an online serv

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