Brexit, One Month On

Hannah Williamson

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02 Mar 2020

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One month has passed since the UK officially left the EU and all eyes will likely be looking to the future.

With the Brexit transition period in full swing, what do you need to be ready for?

The government has provided some answers—in the form of immigration proposals.

One month on

Immigration – a points-based system

Under these proposals, individuals who want to work in the UK will need to meet certain criteria. The proposals won’t come into force until the end of free movement on 31st December 2020.

Now, anyone wishing to work in the UK from overseas will need to acquire ‘points’. And, they’ll need a minimum of 70 to be approved. These will be awarded for the following:

  • Having a job offer from an approved sponsor
  • Seeking to undertake a job of an appropriate skill level
  • Being able to speak English
  • Qualifications

Generally, the job will need to be providing a salary of at least £25,600, aside from in certain areas where skills shortages have been identified. For example, those seeking positions in nursing may be able to apply for roles offering a minimum of £20,480.

What will the impact be?

These new rules are likely to have an impact upon anyone who relies on so-called low-skilled labour from the EU. In particular, there is expected to be a knock-on effect in the hospitality and catering industries, as well as agricultural operations. Particularly, if you make use of seasonal workers from overseas.

The government does appear to want to provide a degree of flexibility to tackle these potential issues. However, don’t assume that your sector will meet the requirements of having a skills shortage just because you’re struggling to source workers.

How can I prepare?

As we creep towards 1 January 2021, employers need to make sure they are ready for these changes. They represent a clear goal of reducing the number of low-skilled migrants coming to the UK. If this is something you rely on, consider taking steps that will to limit the potential impact.

One option is to encourage EU nationals already working for the business to apply for ‘settled status.’ They must do this under the EU Settlement Scheme before the deadline of 30 June 2021. You can provide assistance to those who wish to apply if possible. If you’re unsure how, give Croner a call for guidance on 01455 858 132.

Another area to explore is working to increase the skill levels of current staff members. This may encourage retention and progression into roles that may be difficult to fill in the future.

These measures may be subject to change as we wait to see a new Immigration Bill. This is expected later in 2020. However, the current proposals do shine a light on how immigration is going to work for all foreign nationals, including EU nationals, going forward.

Start preparing today

Don’t wait until December to start worrying about how the new system will impact your business. Although the proposals are not final, they serve as an indicator for what’s to come. Use this to prepare your business so you aren’t caught unaware at the end of the year. Call a Croner expert today for support on 01455 858 132.

About the Author

Hannah Williamson is a CIPD Qualified HR professional with over 10 years’ experience in generalist HR management working within the Manufacturing Industry.

Working for a Global manufacturer provided Hannah with the opportunity to work in America and across Europe supporting HR functions and the wider business.

Hannah is Croner’s Advice Manager, taking responsibility for overseeing the provision of advice to all Croner clients, bringing together our Corporate, Simplify and Association service provisions.

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