EU, EEA or Swiss citizens currently employed to work in the UK can continue to do so despite Brexit. The Government’s EU Settlement Scheme was introduced to allow existing EU, EEA and Swiss citizens residing in the UK to continue living and working in the UK after 30th June 2021.
You can view the full details of the scheme and how to apply here – https://www.gov.uk/settled-status-eu-citizens-families
To make use of this scheme, they must have been in the UK by 31st December 2020, with the subsequent deadline for applications being 30th June 2021.
This means that businesses will be able to retain any EU, EEA or Swiss citizens who were already part of their workforce or in the UK by 31st December 2020, if they apply for settled status by 30th June 2021.
If they apply and are granted settled or pre-settled status, they will be able to view their status and prove it to employers online.
As the above citizens will still be able to live and work in the UK freely until 31st June 2021, dismissing or refusing to employee them in the interim for being unwilling to apply for settled or pre-settled status will be potentially discriminatory. That also applies for employees that don’t voluntarily disclose their proof of status until 30th June 2021.
We expect that there will be further guidance around how to obtain proof of status closer to the June deadline to avoid any potential discrimination claims.