immigration

Government publishes new immigration regime proposals

On Wednesday 19 February 2020, the UK government  published a policy paper setting out its plan for the new UK immigration system for skilled migration. For those who sponsor individuals, key points are: As expected, the government will scrap the resident labour market test (RLMT) and the current cap on skilled worker visas. It will lower the skill threshold for sponsorship from RQF Level 6 (equivalent to degree level) to RQF Level 3 (equivalent to A-Levels). The government will maintain the Immigration Skills Charge and Immigration Health Surcharge. Self-employed individuals will not be permitted to apply under this route. Instead …

Government publishes new immigration regime proposals Read More »

The final countdown: Navigating the EU Settlement Scheme

21 January marks 10 days until Brexit. On 9 January, the Withdrawal Agreement finally passed through Parliament, without much fanfare, by 330 votes to 231 and now Brexit has been fixed for 31 January 2020. The enactment of the Withdrawal Agreement provides a fixed timeline for EU nationals and their family members to apply for the right to remain in the UK under the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS). To mark 10 days until Brexit, here are ten things you should note about the EUSS and its impact on your EU national workforce: The EUSS app is available for Android and …

The final countdown: Navigating the EU Settlement Scheme Read More »

Immigration update following UK election result

The Boris Johnson immigration tag line has long been that under his leadership the UK will have an “Australian-style Points Based System”. Now the election results have been counted and it has been confirmed that Boris will continue his tenure in 10 Downing Street, what can be expected from an “Australian-style points based immigration system” if replicated in the UK post-Brexit in January 2021? The Conservative manifesto was vague when it described what UK businesses could expect from a new immigration system once the Brexit transition period comes to an end on 31 December 2020.  The previous Immigration White Paper …

Immigration update following UK election result Read More »

Brexit: Deal or no deal? Is the future of the settled status scheme hanging in the balance?

Each day now presents new developments in the Brexit negotiations – and in an update to our article of 20 November 2018, the critical EU Summit has now taken place and the leaders of the EU27 Member States have now agreed the terms of the UK’s withdrawal from the EU and the future relationship.   This brings to an end the negotiations which began some 20 months ago.  The terms have been declared the, ‘best and only deal possible’. So far so good.   However, despite this positive progress, a significant hurdle still remains.  The deal must now be approved by the …

Brexit: Deal or no deal? Is the future of the settled status scheme hanging in the balance? Read More »

Draft withdrawal agreement is agreed (for now) – but what next for citizens’ rights?

On 14 November 2018, after many months of negotiations, the UK Government and the EU Commission finally announced that a draft withdrawal agreement (WA) on the legal terms of the UK’s withdrawal from the EU has been agreed, and at the same time they issued a ‘Political declaration setting out the framework for the future relationship between the UK and the EU’ . The WA is a lengthy document (running to nearly 600 pages) but, for employers, the key provisions of interest are likely to include the future rights of EU citizens to live and work in the UK (and, …

Draft withdrawal agreement is agreed (for now) – but what next for citizens’ rights? Read More »

Brexit: Deal on EU citizens agreed in principle

On 8 December 2017, an agreement in principle was reached between the UK and the EU on the future rights of EU citizens currently living lawfully in the UK.  In short, the Government has announced that these individuals will be able to stay in the UK and enjoy broadly the same rights and benefits as they do now.  This agreement applies equally to UK citizens currently living in the EU. However, a word of caution – this agreement is subject to the important caveat that ‘nothing is agreed until everything is agreed’.  For now, the Government maintains that EU citizens …

Brexit: Deal on EU citizens agreed in principle Read More »

Government publishes details of administrative processes for EU nationals

The Government has today published further information on the new administrative processes which will apply to EU nationals in the UK who wish to apply for settled or temporary status post-Brexit. In brief: The future status and rights of EU nationals will be defined in the Withdrawal Agreement (WA).  The WA will be incorporated into UK law, enabling EU citizens to enforce those rights. A new application system is being designed from scratch.  Applications will be for either (1) settled status – 5 years’ continuous lawful residence as a worker, self-employed person, student, self-sufficient person of family member thereof; or …

Government publishes details of administrative processes for EU nationals Read More »

Brexit: Update on future rights of EU citizens in the UK

In an update to our Be Aware article of 12 July 2017, Government publishes proposals for EU nationals, the UK and the EU have just concluded the latest round of their Brexit negotiations which will be of interest to employers who are monitoring developments as part of a communications strategy for keeping EU nationals in their workforce informed of the latest position. In this latest round of negotiations, the Home Office has reported that progress has been made in relation to the rights of EU citizens living in the UK and UK nationals in the EU.  In particular, the UK …

Brexit: Update on future rights of EU citizens in the UK Read More »

Brexit: Impact on European nationals in your workforce

The rights of European nationals[1] currently living and working in the UK has been one of the most high profile aspects of the Brexit process, and it remains a hot topic. The consistent message from UK Prime Minister, Theresa May, has been that securing the status of, and giving certainty to, European nationals already in the UK, and to UK nationals in the EU, is a priority for the Government.  For now, however, there is very little information about the Government’s proposals, and any plans must of course be negotiated with the remaining EU member states. It remains to be …

Brexit: Impact on European nationals in your workforce Read More »

Immigration Act 2016: New provisions now in force

The Immigration Act 2016 represents a significant milestone in immigration regulation creating additional duties and responsibilities on individuals and businesses. Immigration is increasingly under the spotlight and likely to remain so for the foreseeable future so it is therefore vital for employers to be fully aware of their responsibilities to effectively manage their risk.  Key features of the 2016 Act include the introduction of a new criminal offence of illegal working, criminal liability for employers who employ workers with reasonable cause to believe they do not have the necessary right to work in the UK and increased penalties for those who are found …

Immigration Act 2016: New provisions now in force Read More »

Employers: Do your ‘right to work’ checks stand up to scrutiny?

Business immigration issues have not been far from the headlines since the Brexit referendum in June 2016 and, at the weekend, Theresa May announced that Britain will decide for itself how it will control immigration and that it “will be free to pass [its] own laws”. One of the key areas of focus in recent months has been on illegal working, where there have been significant developments. July 2016 saw the introduction of new measures creating a wider criminal offence with increased criminal sanctions, and the implementation of new enforcement powers for the Home Office – see our Be Aware …

Employers: Do your ‘right to work’ checks stand up to scrutiny? Read More »

The ill-treatment of domestic migrant workers because of their immigration status does not amount to race discrimination under the Equality Act 2010

Bethan Odey and Emma Phillips, Senior Associates in our Birmingham office, comment: The recent case of Taiwo v Olgaigbe and another; Onu v Akwiwu and another [2016] UKSC 31 has highlighted the issues which can arise in respect of the employment rights of migrant workers. The case involved Ms Taiwo and Ms Onu, both Nigerian nationals who entered the UK lawfully with a domestic worker’s visa. Ms Taiwo and Ms Onu were subjected to mental and physical abuse, paid less than the minimum wage and denied the required rest periods. Eventually, Ms Taiwo and Ms Onu fled their employers and …

The ill-treatment of domestic migrant workers because of their immigration status does not amount to race discrimination under the Equality Act 2010 Read More »

Business immigration in post-Brexit Britain

Matthew Leon, Associate in our Edinburgh office, and Heather Barc, Associate in our London office, comment: A significant consequence of June’s Brexit referendum result is that businesses are left operating in an uncertain environment. Employers now face a number of questions particularly in relation to immigration.  What happens to the status of EU member state nationals in the UK?  What can be done to ensure that businesses are able to continue resourcing their businesses effectively with the right skills? The important thing to remember is that until the UK formally commences the Brexit process by triggering Article 50 of the …

Business immigration in post-Brexit Britain Read More »

Right to work checks: Extended criminal liabilities for employers

Germaine Machin-Cowen and Aaron Lyons, Associates in our Sheffield office, comment: On 12 July 2016, a number of changes under the Immigration Act 2016 will come into force, including extended criminal offences for employers in relation to illegal working. Background All employers in the UK have a duty to prevent illegal working by carrying out certain checks – known as ‘Right to work checks’ – on all employees before they commence employment. Failure to carry out these checks, and to properly retain copies of right to work documents, can result in civil and criminal liabilities for employers. A civil penalty …

Right to work checks: Extended criminal liabilities for employers Read More »