25 February 2019

How can schools help staff prepare for Brexit?

Schools, colleges and universities benefit from the skills and talents of their staff who are EU citizens, and can help their staff deal with the effects of Brexit with some simple steps.

If you have staff from other EU countries, or if you employ family members of people from those countries, you should act now to ensure that they will be able to remain in the UK.

The Home Office has published guidance that every individual or their family members from the EU should have applied for either ‘settled’ or ‘pre-settled’ status by 30 June 2021. However if there is no Brexit deal with the EU when the UK leaves on 29 March 2019, the deadline will change to 30 December 2020, so swift action is advisable.

Settled status would apply to those who have completed five years’ residence in the UK, whereas pre-settled status would apply to those that have less than that when they apply. It seems that the Home Office expect even those individuals that have ‘permanent residence’ to apply for settled status. It is important that these individuals ensure that they have applied for either of the above to protect their legal status and to ensure that they are able to remain in the UK.

Pupils from the EU or family members of those from the EU should also apply for either settled’ or ‘pre-settled’ status to enable them to continue with their education here. If a pupil is already at an educational institution on a Tier 4 (General) student visa, the proposed changes do not currently have any effect on their ability to remain in the country.

Some jobs within secondary education are also regarded as hard to fill from within the UK – they are listed by the Home Office here https://www.gov.uk/guidance/immigration-rules/immigration-rules-appendix-k-shortage-occupation-list

For those roles, schools or colleges would need a sponsor licence endorsed by the Home Office and the applicants would need to satisfy certain criteria.

If you are an educational institution concerned about protecting your workforce, or if you as an individual wish to discuss this further, please contact immigration specialist Sandeep Dattani at Harrison Clark Rickerbys on 0121 726 7463 or email SDattani@hcrlaw.com with any queries.

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About the Author
Sandeep Dattani, Senior Associate Solicitor
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