Free movement ended on 31 December 2020 and there followed a six-month grace period during which relevant aspects of free movement law were saved to allow eligible EEA citizens and their family members resident in the UK by 31 December 2020 to apply to remain here under the EU Settlement Scheme. That period ended on 30 June 2021.
However, those EU citizens who had not applied for settled or pre-settled status by 30 June can still apply provided they had a reasonable excuse for missing the deadline. We discussed the sorts of scenarios the Home Office will consider to be 'reasonable' in our previous article: EU settlement scheme: what options do your staff have if they miss the deadline?
The Home Office has recently published its monthly statistics which show that over 172,000 people have applied since 30 June. We don't know how many have been successful.
Just a reminder that if you employed an EU citizen before 30 June and have found out that they don't have settled or pre-settled status, you don't have to immediately dismiss them. Instead (and if you want to) you can advise the employee to make an application under the settlement scheme within 28 days and continue to employ them. There are a number of important steps that you must take which we explain in our previous article: What should you do if you discover that an existing employee hasn't applied for settled or pre-settled status?
Our specialist employment and immigration lawyers Padma Tadi and Sybille Steiner can help you to decide how to deal with any member of staff who hasn't applied for settled or pre-settled status in time.