The UK Home Office launched a ‘toolkit’ for employers to help EU citizens apply for ‘settled status’ in post-Brexit Britain this week.
The government has guaranteed that EU citizens already resident in the UK or who move to Britain before January 2021 have the right to remain and work in the UK.
The toolkit was designed with help from industry and community groups and offers advice on how to apply for settled status.
Its launch was welcomed by industry association UKHospitality, which said it worked “closely” with the government to help develop it.
UKHospitality chief executive Kate Nicholls said: “Dissemination of information to employees is going to be crucial as we move towards Brexit.
“Members have consistently told us they need information from government to reassure their EU staff they are welcome in the UK, so this is a big step forward.
“Clear communication with EU citizens on how to register themselves and their dependants for settled status is essential.”
Nicholls added: “Employers are going to play a crucial role in communicating the scheme to employees and UKHospitality will be supporting its members to ensure the message gets across.
“Hospitality businesses need clarity and transparency in order to prepare for life beyond the transition period and outside of the EU.”
Speaking at the launch, UK home secretary Sajid Javid said: “Our settlement scheme will offer security and certainty to EU citizens living in the UK and help them get their new immigration status.”
Up to 3.8 million EU citizens live and work in the UK.
Matthew Fell, chief policy director at business association the CBI, added: “EU workers provide crucial skills and labour to businesses of all sizes and sectors throughout the UK.”
“Employers have worked with the government to ensure information about claiming ‘settled status’ is accessible.”
The settlement scheme will be introduced in phases and should be fully operational by the end of March 2019, the date set for Brexit.
The government has pledged it will be available in 23 EU languages. There is a deadline for applications of June 2021.
The parliamentary Brexit committee called on the Home Office this week to issue “settled status” documents to EU citizens.
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