Official statistics released recently show that 1 million resident EU, EEA and Swiss citizens and their family members have secured their rights to stay in the UK after Brexit through the EU Settlement Scheme.
It is an encouraging figure but does mean there are still more than 2m yet to apply. I’m mindful that some of our own colleagues are likely to be among that number.
One of Aberdeen’s great strengths is its diversity and we recognise the huge contribution the many nationalities represented within our own staff and their families make to the city, both economically and culturally. I want to ensure that valued employees from the EU who want to remain in Aberdeen after the exit date do so and I would encourage anyone who intends to register to visit the registration site.
The EU Settlement Scheme provides a simple process for EU, EEA and Swiss citizens who want to stay in the UK to get the UK immigration status they need after the UK leaves the European Union and protects the right to work, study and access benefits. It’s free to apply via a short online process.
The deadline for applying will be 30 June 2021, or 31 December 2020 if the UK leaves the EU without a deal.
There is more information about the support we are offer as an employer on People Anytime.
I’d ask managers in particular to familiarise themselves with the information available and be mindful that many of our team members don’t have online access during the course of their working day, so may welcome guidance.
If you work with looked after children or care leavers, be conscious that all local authorities in Scotland have a duty to ensure that applications to the Scheme are made on behalf of all looked after children who are EU citizens and for whom they have parental responsibility.
We also have continuing duties to support care leavers up to age 26. Eligible care leavers will be required to make an application to the Scheme. We have a responsibility to ensure that care leavers are made aware of the need to do this and to make applications on behalf of eligible children in our care.
Our role as care professionals, colleagues and friends will vary but there is an important part we can all play in raising awareness and providing support.