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HR Think Tank Series - DLA Piper Presentation - The People Issues of Brexit


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Following our HR Leadership Think Tank held on 7th February 2019, here is the presentation delivered by Legal Director, Jonathan Hearn (DLA Piper). This presentation captures four possible Brexit-related scenarios and the respective impact they are likely to have on UK workforces from an HR perspective.

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HR Think Tank Series - DLA Piper Presentation - The People Issues of Brexit

  1. 1. The people issues of Brexit An introduction for the HR Think Tank Series (7 February 2019) Jonathan Hearn Legal Director +44 (0)20 7796 6637 +44 (0)7968 558 759
  2. 2. Part A: What happens immediately after Brexit? UKG/93538061 Two fundamentals to bear in mind: 1) The UK's race discrimination law stays unchanged for the foreseeable future 2) Aside from the law: will there be a shortage of labour?
  3. 3. • Scenario 1: • The transitional deal which the UK Government has provisionally agreed with EU negotiators is signed, and runs as planned, until at least 31 December 2020 • Scenario 2: • No deal is signed. So the transitional deal isn't signed. The UK leaves on 29 March 2019 with no overall deal in place • Scenario 3: • There's some other deal • Scenario 4: • Our exit from the EU is delayed beyond 29/3/19. Or no Brexit The four possible scenarios UKG/93538061
  4. 4. Under Scenario 1: the UK's proposed settled status scheme EU citizens who arrive in the UK by 31 December 2020 will be able to access the settled status scheme Currently, the deadline for applications is 30 June 2021 At least 5 years' residence: apply for settle status Less than 5 years' residence: apply for pre-settled status UKG/93538061
  5. 5. Under Scenario 1: the UK's proposed settled status scheme The Government recently announced that there will be no fees. Application by Android device or post Proof of: - Identity - Residence - Criminal history UKG/93538061
  6. 6. Under Scenario 1: the UK's proposed settled status scheme Settled status scheme fully open by 29 March 2019. Other rules will apply to EU citizens arriving after 31 December 2020. We'll revisit these in Part B. UKG/93538061
  7. 7. • Under Scenario 1, this scheme will be reciprocated by the EU27 • The Government says there will be arrangements with Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Switzerland to bring about similar rules for their citizens. • The immigration status of people who are in the UK from the EU, or who arrive here, will be recorded digitally in a database. This is to ensure the individual can have immediate access to information about their current status, to share it easily with employers. • Irish citizens will not need to obtain settled status in the UK. • UK employers can now request either an online check or the existing document-based check, to confirm right-to-work in the UK for non-EEA nationals holding either a biometric residence permit or card. • Note that the Implementation Period may well be extended beyond 31 December 2020. Under scenario 1: the UK's proposed settled status scheme UKG/93538061
  8. 8. Now, let's look at how the settled status scheme may apply, to each of our Scenarios In Scenario 1, there are reciprocal arrangements. In Scenario 4, presumably the rules would remain as now, for a while But under Scenarios 2 & 3… - UK citizens will immediately be classed as third country nationals. - The immigration rules of each country, will apply. - But Schengen visa requirements will probably be waived, for short visits. - This could become a major political battleground between the UK and the EU27. - Linked to cash owed by the UK. UKG/93538061
  9. 9. • Maybe, but probably very limited. The Government has recently agreed a Labour party proposal to freeze worker rights. • Perhaps: • The Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations, known as 'TUPE': • Consultation rules might be reduced • Maybe greater freedom to agree new terms & conditions • Agency Worker Regulations might be diluted or repealed • Working Time law: • might be clarified, on holidays • might be simplified • Discrimination laws change? • Consultation rules, where 20 or more redundancies, may change? Will there be any changes to UK employment law, as a result of Brexit? UKG/93538061
  10. 10. • Survey your workforce with caution! • Explaining the new EU Settlement Scheme in greater detail, to staff in the UK • Communicating the UK's new EU Settlement Scheme to your EU-based employees • Mutual recognition of professional qualifications: yes, under the deal • Who'll be the most attractive recruits for you? EU27 citizens? Maybe Irish citizens? • Will there be a mini-stampede, in the lead-up to the end of the transition period? • Impact assessment of a no deal scenario on your UK work force… • …and on professional mobility between your UK and EU entities • What contingency measures can you put in place now? • Impact assessment of a UK-EU bilateral agreement on professional mobility, based on existing EU models, such as with Canada, South Korea, Singapore Some other points to note UKG/93538061
  11. 11. Some Brexit red flags for HR Ensure employment decisions are not race discriminatory within the UK's current law Equality and diversity policy: needs a review, communication and high level backing Right-to-work checks continue to apply New immigration rules are due to apply to EU27 citizens arriving after 31 December 2020 Have you got UK citizens working in other countries? UKG/93538061
  12. 12. Part B: What happens later? The UK's new immigration policy UKG/93538061
  13. 13. • The details are still sketchy. • And there is a lot that has to happen politically, such as: • a possible general election, with a stronger Government • or a change of government • and probably a change of Prime Minister • What has the Government so far indicated about future immigration policy? • Though we don’t know for certain that any of these things will occur…. Immigration after the Brexit transition period UKG/93538061
  14. 14. • The Government has published its White Paper on the UK’s future skills-based immigration system, along with an Executive Summary • It is written only on the presumption that Teresa May's deal with the EU, currently being debated in Parliament, is voted through by MPs. There are strong indications that this may not happen. If it doesn’t happen, then we don’t know what the Government's future immigration policy will be • However, if Teresa May's deal with the EU is voted through by MPs, then the Government currently says that future immigration policy will be as follows: • Between 30 March 2019 and 31 December 2020 (the Implementation Period): • For citizens of the EU27: we covered that in Part A • For people from elsewhere: presumably immigration policy will remain as it is now. But more may be announced about this • What happens after the Implementation Period? Immigration after the Brexit transition period UKG/93538061
  15. 15. • From 1 January 2021 (or later, if the Implementation Period gets extended) • The future system will apply in the same way to all nationalities: EU and non-EU citizens alike • Unless there are objective grounds to discriminate, such as a trade agreement between the UK and the relevant country(ies) • There will be no requirement for employers to undertake retrospective right-to-work checks on existing EU employees • Skilled migrants will be prioritised. This will include workers with at least intermediate level skills (A-Level or equivalent) as well as graduates and post-graduates. • There will not be a cap on the number of skilled workers allowed entry into the UK • Skilled and highly skilled workers will have a single route of entry into the UK, and will each need an employer to sponsor them Immigration after the Brexit transition period UKG/93538061
  16. 16. • The 'resident labour market test' will be abolished • The Government will consult with businesses and employers on whether to fix the minimum salary threshold at £30k, for a person to be a 'skilled worker' • Low skilled workers: there will be no route specifically for low skilled workers • The Government will consult with businesses on a transitional measure to implement: • a time-limited route (max 12 months, followed by a further 12 month "cooling off" period), for temporary short-term workers, • who will be able to move between employers in this period with no sponsorship requirement? • but which will not entitle people to access public funds, extend a stay, switch to other routes, bring dependents or get permanent settlement? • This route will also be available to skilled workers who wish to come to the UK for longer than the business visitor rules allow. • This route will be fully reviewed in 2025. Immigration after the Brexit transition period UKG/93538061
  17. 17. • Visitors: • Visitors from EU Member States will not need to obtain a visit visa in advance of travel, as long as the EU reciprocates this arrangement • Tourists will continue to be able to spend up to 6 months in the UK • Visitors and transit passengers who do not need a visa to come to the UK will be required to obtain an Electronic Travel Authorisation (ETA) as a security measure, which will be valid for multiple entries over an extended period • Individuals who wish to come to the UK to work, study or join family will need permission to do so, normally in the form of an electronic status which must be obtained before coming to the UK Immigration after the Brexit transition period UKG/93538061
  18. 18. • Students: • Students will generally need permission to travel to the UK but there will be no limit on numbers granted entry • There will be 6 months' post-study leave for Bachelor and Masters students, to allow the student time to find permanent skilled work and to work temporarily during that period • Students who are studying at Bachelor’s level or above will be able to apply to switch into the 'skilled worker' route up to 3 months before the end of their course in the UK • Students with a Bachelor degree or above will be able to apply to switch into the 'skilled worker' route, during the two years after their graduation • The administrative burdens on employer sponsors will be reviewed to make the system as straightforward, light touch, and low cost as possible. So the Government say…. Immigration after the Brexit transition period UKG/93538061