Understanding the Rights of EU Workers After Brexit

Understanding the Rights of EU Workers After Brexit

More than three years after the referendum to decide whether the UK would remain in or leave the EU, we finally have a date when Brexit will go ahead.

On Friday 31st January 2020, the UK will leave the EU. The UK will then enter into a transition period, which will last until the end of the year. During that transition period, almost everything will stay the same, as UK and EU negotiators work furiously to put the future agreement in place.

As a specialist recruitment agency that has placed many bilingual EU workers in jobs across the UK, we’re in a good position to dispel some of the myths around EU workers’ rights after Brexit and advise on the conversations you should have with your employer sooner rather than later.

Dispelling a few Brexit myths

In the three-and-a-half years between the EU referendum and the final leaving date, uncertainty has reigned supreme. That has led to much conjecture and many myths about exactly what the impact will be.

  • All EU workers will have to leave the UK after Brexit

False. The right of EU workers to remain in the UK depends on how long they’ve lived in the UK on the final leave date. Those who have lived in the UK for more than five years will be eligible for ‘settled status’, which gives them indefinite leave to remain. Those who have lived and worked in the UK for a shorter period will usually be eligible for ‘pre-settled status’. They can then apply for settled status once they have lived in the UK for five years.

  • I’ve lived in the UK for a long time, so I don’t need to do anything

False. If you have lived in the UK for more than five years, then under the EU settlement scheme, you must apply for settled status. Read more about how to apply for settled status.

  • I only arrived in the UK a few months ago, so I’ll have to leave after Brexit

False. Even if you have lived in the UK for less than five years, under the terms of the EU settlement scheme, you still have the right to remain.

  • I’m an EU national but with English citizenship, so I don’t need to do anything

True. If you’re an EU national with English, Irish or dual citizenship, you can stay in the UK indefinitely without having to apply to the EU settlement scheme.

What conversations should you have with your employer?

It’s only natural that EU workers will feel uncertain after Brexit and may want some reassurance from their employers. However, this has been just as unsettling a time for many employers that rely on EU workers as it has for the workers themselves, so it’s important that both parties meet to discuss their intentions.

Before you arrange a meeting, make sure you’re clear about exactly how Brexit will impact your right to work and understand what you need to do to remain in the UK. You should discuss your current situation with your employer and explain your plans for the future. As a valuable member of the team with a second language proficiency, you can be confident that most employers will be more than happy to retain your skills.

Rewarding UK jobs for EU workers

At Linguistica Recruitment, we specialise in finding well-paid, rewarding bilingual roles for EU workers across the south coast of England. Submit your CV today or call 02392 987 765 to discuss your requirements.