Editor's message: The UK left the EU on 31 January 2020. A transition period was in place until 31 December 2020, during which time EU laws, including the right to free movement within the EEA, continued to apply to the UK.
The main issue concerning HR is the impact of Brexit on their European workforce in the UK and on future recruitment. EEA nationals in the UK by 31 December 2020, the end of the transition period, have been able to apply for settled or pre-settled status, giving them the right to stay indefinitely. The deadline for applications under the EU settlement scheme was 30 June 2021, although there is some scope for late applications. The Government has put in place a transitional procedure for employers to follow if they find that an employee has not yet applied under the scheme.
A new immigration system is now in place, under which EEA nationals coming to work in the UK will need to comply with the same visa requirements as other non-UK nationals. Employers should understand how the new system will affect their recruitment and should consider whether they should now apply for a sponsor licence.
Brexit is unlikely to have an immediate impact on employment law. Workers' rights under EU law, such as working time rights, remain in place, but are now subject to Parliament's control over domestic law.
Susie Munro, senior employment law editor
HR and legal information and guidance relating to Brexit.