EU and Non EU Workers in the UK
From 1 January 2021, a new points‐based immigration system now applies to workers from outside the UK. EU and non-EU citizens wanting to work in the UK are now required to achieve 70 points by meeting a specific set of requirements under the system.
Businesses that want to employ workers from outside the UK, excluding Irish citizens, will need a sponsor licence.
The work must require a minimum of RQF3 skill level (eg. A Level, Advanced Apprenticeship, NVQ Level 3).
The worker must speak English to the required standard.
The salary must be at least £25,600 unless the occupation is on the Shortage Occupation List or the worker has a PhD in a STEM or relevant subject when the salary can be £20,480
Until 30 June 2021, if you intend to employ an EU citizen, there will be no change for how you check their right to work. After this date the new immigration rules for recruiting people from outside the UK will apply.
Build UK has produced a simple flowchart to guide members through the process of employing a foreign worker. The new flowchart covers the EU Settlement Scheme, the Points-Based Immigration System and the Skilled Worker Visa, and provides links to further guidance.
UK Workers in the EU and EEA
If you employ UK workers based in EU and EEA countries:
- Their UK qualifications may no longer be mutually recognised
- If you work temporarily in the EU, the EEA or Switzerland, you may be able to get a certificate from HMRC to carry on paying National Insurance contributions in the UK and not in the country where the work is taking place. There are a number of circumstances in which you can apply for social security exemptions and employers should check which of these will apply to their staff working abroad.
- Individuals can find out what actions they need to take if they wish to continue working in the EU if they are a UK citizen
- The Government has produced a simple guide on travelling to Europe for work purposes.
SME Business Support
Government has announced a new £20 million SME Brexit Support Fund, which will offer support to help small businesses adjust to new customs procedures, rules of origin, and VAT rules when trading with the EU.
If your business has up to 500 employees, and no more than £100 million annual turnover, the SME Brexit Support Fund could give you up to £2000.
SMEs who trade only with the EU, and are therefore new to importing and exporting processes, can apply for grants of up to £2,000, to pay for practical support including training and professional advice to ensure they can continue trading effectively with the EU.
For more information on the SME Brexit Support Fund, click here.
Full guidance on how you can use the grant, who can apply and how to apply, click here.
Personal data cannot be transferred from EU or EEA based organisations to the UK unless there are specific contractual terms in place. Information can be transferred from the UK to the EU and EEA.
The Construction Leadership Council (CLC) has published more detailed guidance on what you need to know about data protection and GDPR compliance.
To ensure your employees can continue to live and work in the UK, businesses should check:
- Which of my workers has a UK or Irish passport?
- Do our contracts enable the transfer of personal data?
- Do you wish to become an employer capable of sponsoring workers under the new immigration system?
- Record the status of existing and new workers
- Ensure your supply chain has the above checklist
- Support eligible workers to apply for settled status
- Support eligible workers to apply for pre-settled status
- Check your contracts for the transfer of personal data
- Check what actions you or your staff may need to take when visiting Europe