360 Talent Solutions


11pm on a cold New Year’s Eve 2020, Fleetwood Mac’s Go Your Own Way could be heard in homes in the UK and across Europe as the drawn-out divorce (Brexit) finally come into effect.  Going through this messy divorce, it has left many of us unsure of what you can and cannot do.  Immediately, there are “teething problems” and legislation is still catching up, with words such as ‘could’ and ‘might’ being used by countless politicians and news articles attempting to describe new laws and its implications.  For families going through a divorce, who gets the children can be contentious and in the case of who gets the best talent from around Europe, it is no different. 

For the point of simplicity, the implications of Brexit on UK employment can be broken up into 3 sections:

  1. Before 23:00 31st December 2020.
  2. Between 23:00 31st December 2020 – 30th June 2021.
  3. 1st July 2021 onwards.

Before 23:00 31st December 2020 – The Good Times

Up until 11pm on 31st December, there was Free Movement and EU citizens were eligible to work in the UK.  UK-based businesses were free to hire the best talent from anywhere in Europe and businesses in Europe could attract the best UK citizens. 

Any EU Citizen residing in the UK before 23:00 31st December 2020, can continue to work in the UK up until the 30th June 2021.

Between 23:00 31st December 2020 – 30th June 2021 – The Confusing Times

Any EU Citizen residing in the UK before 11pm on 31st December 2020 is eligible to continue to reside and work in UK.  However, they must apply under the EU Settlement Scheme before the 30 June 2021 deadline to continue to work.

During this grace period, employers can continue to solely check an EU citizen’s passport or national ID card in the same way as during The Good Times (Before 23:00 31st December 2020).  Please note that “you have a duty not to discriminate against EU, EEA or Swiss citizens. You cannot require them to show you their status under the EU Settlement Scheme until after 30 June 2021.” – Home Office.

In addition, employers cannot force their existing EU citizen workforce to submit EU Settlement Scheme applications but can encourage them to do so and provide information and support to them on how to apply.

EU citizens arriving on or after 1 January 2021 must apply under the new immigration system.

 1st of July 2021 onwards – The ‘Go Your Own Way’ Times

Still want to hire the best talent from Europe?  You need to register as a licensed sponsor to hire eligible people from outside the UK (excluding Irish citizens).

Want to be a sponsor?

  • Before applying to be a sponsor:
    • Check that the people you want to hire will meet the requirements for coming to the UK for work.
    • Check your business is eligible.
  • To apply, you will need to:
    • Choose the type of skilled worker licence you want to apply for.
    • Put appropriate systems in place to act as a sponsor.
    • Apply online and pay the fee.

Once you have overcome this obstacle, you then need to decipher the new points-based  immigration system to understand the requirements for hiring an EU citizen (or non-EU citizen).

Once you are a licensed sponsor you will need to ensure your advertising meets the minimum skill and salary thresholds:

  • The minimum skill level = RQF3 (equivalent to A level).
  • The minimum salary threshold = the higher of £25,600 or the ‘going rate’ for that job – some employees can be paid less than £25,600, for example if their job is in a shortage occupation.
  • Any applicants from outside the UK must also meet English language requirements.

The elephant in the room

It is important to acknowledge the elephant in the room – Covid.  Over the past year, there has been a massive trend in “Working From Home and ”Working From Anywhere”.  It is true that remote working is here to stay, however companies must continue to comply with the new legislation and would need offices in Europe to remotely hire EU based citizens.

No divorce is ever easy and we have a challenging year ahead; that being said, there is a pool of incredible talent jumping at a chance to transform your business.

Take care and stay safe,

Dave Crumby


360 Talent Solutions