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Brexit

Brexit series #6 – are your employment contracts Brexit-ready?

Posted on: February 1st, 2021 by Ginny Hallam

Employment contracts haven’t escaped the need to be ‘Brexit-ready’. Here is what you need to include or update within your contracts:

Right to work – ensure the employee warrants that they have the right to work in the UK.

Changes to immigration status – include an obligation for employees to tell you if their immigration status changes. Failure to do so will mean the individual has breached their contract giving you greater rights to decide how to approach their employment.

Ending employment without notice – make it clear that you have the right to dismiss without notice if employees lose their right to work in the UK. You have a duty to prevent illegal working so including such provision can help you to react quickly with minimal cost. Always take advice from us before dismissing an employee on this basis.

If your employment contracts are in need of review or updating, our drafting expertise will ensure they’re compliant, commercial and contemporary in tone. Get in touch for our support.

 

This update is accurate on the date it was sent (02 February 2021), but may be subject to change which may or may not be notified to you. This update is not to be taken as advice and you should seek advice if anything contained within affects you or your business.

Brexit series #5 – key communication to colleagues

Posted on: January 27th, 2021 by Ginny Hallam

Clear, consistent communication about employment-related Brexit changes should avoid distraction and help colleagues to remain focused and feel supported. 

Communications should cover: 

Awareness – include information about the EU Settlement Scheme, who needs to apply, and how applications can be made.

Deadlines – applications for settled or pre-settled status need to be made by 30 June 2021. Stress the importance of the deadline and the consequences of failing to secure the right to remain.

Practicalities – applications can be made online (laptops, smartphones etc.) or by post, with supporting documents either scanned and uploaded, or posted. Make IT resources available to colleagues who may not have immediate access.

Reviewing status – explain that you’ll require colleagues to provide you with a ‘share code’ to view their status online and their right to remain in the UK.

Support – whether it’s directing colleagues to online government resources, or offering drop-in sessions to help with applications, make sure you shout about help available.

We’ve created a user-friendly, accessible template letter providing detail on everything covered above (and more!). Get in touch for more information on accessing the template communication.

 

This update is accurate on the date it was sent (27 January 2021), but may be subject to change which may or may not be notified to you. This update is not to be taken as advice and you should seek advice if anything contained within affects you or your business.

Brexit series #4 – data protection changes?

Posted on: January 22nd, 2021 by Ginny Hallam

Does the UK’s departure from the EU have any effect on our data protection rules and in particular those introduced by the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulations)?

The short answer – no. The Data Protection Act 2018 continues to apply post-Brexit.

Great news for employers, but you’ll need to consider:

  1. Part of the Brexit deal included a provision that UK data protection was to be treated as ‘adequate’ up until 30 June 2021, meaning employers can continue to exchange personal data with other businesses in the EU up until this point.
  2. If the EU decide that from 1 July 2021 UK data protection isn’t ‘adequate’, you’ll need to have a written agreement in place with any EU business you exchange personal data with confirming that you will comply with EU data rules going forward.

Get in touch if you need to discuss any questions on the impact of Brexit on data protection, or your employment law processes more broadly.

 

This update is accurate on the date it was sent (22 January 2021), but may be subject to change which may or may not be notified to you. This update is not to be taken as advice and you should seek advice if anything contained within affects you or your business.

Brexit series #3 – EU Settlement Scheme

Posted on: January 12th, 2021 by Ginny Hallam

EU workers who arrived in the UK on or before 31 December 2020 can apply for settled, or pre-settled status.

Here’s the need to know detail on how the scheme operates in practice.

Deadline – EU workers who arrived in the UK on or before 31 December 2020 have up until 30 June 2021 to make their applications for settled or pre-settled status.

Settled status – EU workers who have lived lawfully and continuously in the UK for five years or more (prior to 31 December 2020) can apply for settled status.

Pre-settled status – EU workers who have lived in the UK for less than five years (prior to 31 December) can apply for pre-settled status. Pre-settled status allows those workers to remain living and working in the UK until they acquire five years’ continuous residence. They can then apply for settled status.

Right to work checks – prior to 30 June 2021, as an employer you should not require proof from EU workers that they’ve applied for settled or pre-settled status (see our last update).

Checking status after 30 June 2021 – you can access EU workers’ online record (here) to check their immigration status. To do so the employee will need to request a single-use code (via text or email) which they’ll then be able to share with you to allow to access their record.

Failure to obtain the necessary status – if an EU worker’s application is rejected, or they fail to apply in time, they will lose the right to live and work in the UK. Always take advice from us before dismissing an employee on this basis.

We’re including a comprehensive Brexit FAQs (and additional supporting documents) on our Intelligent Employment platform this week to guide you through the employment law implications of Brexit. If you don’t already have access to Intelligent Employment, get in touch to find out more.

 

This update is accurate on the date it was sent (12 January 2021), but may be subject to change which may or may not be notified to you. This update is not to be taken as advice and you should seek advice if anything contained within affects you or your business.

 

Brexit series #2 – right to work checks

Posted on: January 6th, 2021 by Ginny Hallam

You still need to carry out right to work checks for all EU workers before employing them.

Employing workers illegally can result in civil penalties (up to £20,000 per employee) along with the potential for criminal sanctions, so ensuring you have a process in place to establish employees’ right to work is essential.

How you carry out right to work checks will depend on whether you’re carrying out the checks before or after 30th June 2021.

1st January to 30th June 2021

If you’re carrying out a right to work check on or before 30th June 2021, you can still rely on an EU worker’s passport or ID card as a valid right to work in the UK.

You have a duty not to discriminate against EU workers and cannot require them to show whether they have settled or pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme during this period.

1st July 2021 onwards

From this date you’ll:

  1. no longer be able to accept passports or ID cards as evidence of right to work for EU workers;
  2. need proof of immigration status from either the EU Settlement Scheme or the new immigration system.

Immigration status will be recorded electronically and employers can access the online record here. You’ll need the employee’s date of birth and a single-use code (requested by the employee directly) to access the information.

We’re including a comprehensive Brexit FAQs (and additional supporting documents) on our Intelligent Employment platform to guide you through the employment law implications of Brexit. If you don’t already have access to Intelligent Employment, get in touch to find out more.

 

This update is accurate on the date it was sent (7 January 2021), but may be subject to change which may or may not be notified to you. This update is not to be taken as advice and you should seek advice if anything contained within affects you or your business.