European Union: UK Employment Law Round-Up - April 2019

The EU Settlement Scheme and Non-EU immigration - the latest At the time of writing, the government still has much work to do before the UK exits the European Union. However, we do have a degree of clarity about the status of EU/EEA nationals and their families in the UK, regardless of when the UK leaves the EU, and whether a deal is agreed or not. This article looks at what we do know now and what action EU/EEA nationals can take now the Settlement Scheme has gone live.

EU, EEA or Swiss citizens and their family members can now apply, at no cost, to the EU Settlement Scheme to continue living in the UK after free movement ends. If the application is successful, either settled or pre-settled status will be granted. The proposed deadline for applying is currently 30 June 2021 in a deal scenario.

If the UK leaves the EU without a deal, the current status is that applicants will need to have been living in the UK on or before the date the UK leaves the EU (Brexit day), and apply by 31 December 2020. Brexit day is now set for 31 October 2019 at the latest, but the aim is to leave the EU before the need to hold European Parliament elections on 23 May 2019.

The application process

There is a two-step, technology-enabled, application process which is accessible to applicants in the UK, as well as applicants based abroad:

Step 1 – Identity: The Home Office will need to verify the applicant's identity. It will do this by a valid passport or national identity card. The applicant can scan the identity documents using the EU Exit ID Document Check app, or by attending an ID document scanning location set up by the Home Office. This symbol on a document shows if it can be read by the app:

If using the app, this is currently only available on Android devices, but will be available on Apple devices later this year. The app will check the genuineness of the document and that it belongs to the applicant. Alternatively, if the documents are not biometric and cannot be scanned, an applicant can post their passport or national identity card to the Home Office. A digital photograph will also be required to ensure it matches the photo on the identity documents.

Step 2 – Application to confirm residence and character: The applicant must establish their residence in the UK by providing their National Insurance number. The NI number will enable the Home Office to make an automated check of UK tax and benefits records. If an applicant cannot provide a National Insurance number, then the Home Office will accept other evidence and recommends that applicants use documentation covering long periods of time. Examples include:

  • an annual bank statement or account summary showing at least six months of payments received or spending in the UK;
  • an employer's letter confirming employment;
  • a council tax bill;
  • a letter or certificate from a school, college or university showing enrolment dates;
  • an invoice for school, college or university fees;
  • a residential mortgage statement or rental agreement, and evidence of payment;
  • a letter from a registered care home.

An applicant can upload a maximum of 10 documents.

The applicant must complete a declaration of any criminal convictions.


It will not be for the applicant to choose whether they want to apply for settled status or pre-settled status. Which status is granted will depend on how long the applicant has been living in the UK when they apply. An online decision should be made within a couple  of weeks. No physical document is produced.

Settled status

An applicant will usually be granted settled status  if they have lived in the UK for a continuous five-year period (known as "continuous residence").

Five years' continuous residence means that an applicant has lived in the UK, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man for at least six months in any 12-month period, over a total period of five years  in a row. There are some exceptions, e.g. an absence because of childbirth, illness, study or military training.

If an individual is granted settled status, there will  be no restrictions on their length of stay in the UK.  An application for British citizenship may also be made in due course. A period of five years spent outside the UK may result in an individual losing settled status.

Pre-settled status

If an applicant does not have five years' continuous residence when they apply, they will usually get pre-settled status. They must have started living in the UK by 31 December 2020 (or by Brexit day if the UK leaves the EU without a deal). After five years' continuous residence an individual can make an application to change to settled status.

A person can stay in the UK for five years after  getting pre-settled status. A period of two years spent outside the UK may result in pre-settled  status being lost.

A person with settled status or pre-settled status  will be able to work in the UK and travel in and out  of the UK.

Family members

Family members of EU citizens who are either in the UK already or come to the UK before 31 December 2020 can apply to the Settlement Scheme. The family member can be from anywhere in the world. A family member includes spouses, civil partners, unmarried partners, dependent children and grandchildren, and dependent parents and grandparents. Children born or adopted after 31 December 2020 (if there is not  a deal, this date will be 29 March 2022) will also have their rights protected.

To be able to apply, the family member must have  a UK residence card with a biometric chip. If the family member does not have this they will be asked to make an appointment at a UK Visa and Citizenship Application Services (UKVCAS) service point.  At the appointment they will be required to provide biometric information (i.e. fingerprints and a photo) with their application.


Some employers are helping their EU workforce with applications under the Settlement Scheme. We are working with clients to design programmes that suit their specific requirements, including presentations to their staff informing them of details on the application process and an open Q&A forum followed by individual clinics. Please do let us know  if this would also be of help to you.

Otherwise, the new Settlement Scheme imposes few immediate changes for employers of EU nationals. While, as above, an employer may wish to communicate and assist their staff regarding the process, it is the responsibility of the individual to make an application to the EU Settlement Scheme. An employer is not required to check that an employee has applied.

The current framework for completing a "right to work" check for an EU, EEA or Swiss national is not expected to change until 2021 (with the exception being that once pre-settled or settled status is in place, EU citizens will be able to evidence their right to work using the online right to work service, if they choose to do so). Employers will not be required to undertake retrospective checks on existing EU employees, even though the basis on which they are able to work in the UK will change.

Non-EU immigration changes

Despite what some people might call the chaos of Brexit, the Home Office has still found time to overhaul other aspects of the Immigration Rules.  The Tier 1 route came under most scrutiny.

The Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) route closed on 29 March 2019 and the Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) route will close from 5 July 2019. New "Innovator" and "Startup" routes are to be rolled out. This looks promising for UK business since the required investment under the Innovator route is £50,000 (being much lower than the £200,000 under the old Entrepreneur route). However, it has been criticised as focusing on tech businesses to the exclusion of others. Under the Start-up route, an applicant may be granted leave initially for two years, there is no minimum investment requirement and the applicant need not be a recent graduate. These three traits provide an improvement on the Graduate Entrepreneur route.

A designated endorsing body will access the credibility of a new Innovate or Start-up business. This mirrors the Exceptional Talent visa route and seems a sensible move so that knowledgeable experts can review business plans rather than Home Office caseworkers. However, the downside is that, at present, it appears that none of the endorsing bodies appear ready to endorse applications, with one major endorsing body stating that they may not be ready until September 2019. Highly talented international entrepreneurs are therefore currently restricted from applying to come to the UK to set up a business.

The Tier 1 (Investor) route has a new requirement that funds need to have been held for two years before the application, otherwise the Home Office requires the applicant to demonstrate the exact source of the funds. Further, in a move designed to increase investment in UK trading companies, investors can  no longer invest funds in UK government bonds.

Brexit and a focus on assisting those with genuine aspirations to make the UK their home and bring a benefit to the UK remain a priority for the government. Both of these issues are likely to rumble on for years to come and we will continue to bring you updates as they develop in our Round-up and/or on

To view the full article click here

Dentons is the world's first polycentric global law firm. A top 20 firm on the Acritas 2015 Global Elite Brand Index, the Firm is committed to challenging the status quo in delivering consistent and uncompromising quality and value in new and inventive ways. Driven to provide clients a competitive edge, and connected to the communities where its clients want to do business, Dentons knows that understanding local cultures is crucial to successfully completing a deal, resolving a dispute or solving a business challenge. Now the world's largest law firm, Dentons' global team builds agile, tailored solutions to meet the local, national and global needs of private and public clients of any size in more than 125 locations serving 50-plus countries.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
In association with
Related Topics
Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
Related Articles
Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Mondaq Free Registration
Gain access to Mondaq global archive of over 375,000 articles covering 200 countries with a personalised News Alert and automatic login on this device.
Mondaq News Alert (some suggested topics and region)
Select Topics
Registration (please scroll down to set your data preferences)

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including your content preferences, for three primary purposes (full details of Mondaq’s use of your personal data can be found in our Privacy and Cookies Notice):

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting to show content ("Content") relevant to your interests.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, news alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our content providers ("Contributors") who contribute Content for free for your use.

Mondaq hopes that our registered users will support us in maintaining our free to view business model by consenting to our use of your personal data as described below.

Mondaq has a "free to view" business model. Our services are paid for by Contributors in exchange for Mondaq providing them with access to information about who accesses their content. Once personal data is transferred to our Contributors they become a data controller of this personal data. They use it to measure the response that their articles are receiving, as a form of market research. They may also use it to provide Mondaq users with information about their products and services.

Details of each Contributor to which your personal data will be transferred is clearly stated within the Content that you access. For full details of how this Contributor will use your personal data, you should review the Contributor’s own Privacy Notice.

Please indicate your preference below:

Yes, I am happy to support Mondaq in maintaining its free to view business model by agreeing to allow Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors whose Content I access
No, I do not want Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors

Also please let us know whether you are happy to receive communications promoting products and services offered by Mondaq:

Yes, I am happy to received promotional communications from Mondaq
No, please do not send me promotional communications from Mondaq
Terms & Conditions (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd (Mondaq). Mondaq grants you a non-exclusive, revocable licence to access the Website and associated services, such as the Mondaq News Alerts (Services), subject to and in consideration of your compliance with the following terms and conditions of use (Terms). Your use of the Website and/or Services constitutes your agreement to the Terms. Mondaq may terminate your use of the Website and Services if you are in breach of these Terms or if Mondaq decides to terminate the licence granted hereunder for any reason whatsoever.

Use of

To Use you must be: eighteen (18) years old or over; legally capable of entering into binding contracts; and not in any way prohibited by the applicable law to enter into these Terms in the jurisdiction which you are currently located.

You may use the Website as an unregistered user, however, you are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the Content or to receive the Services.

You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these Terms or with the prior written consent of Mondaq. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information from the Content. Nor shall you extract information about users or Contributors in order to offer them any services or products.

In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq’s Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.


The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.


Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions