26 January 2021 · Martyna Gorska
We have received several queries recently from our clients asking what they can do to raise awareness of the EU Settlement Scheme and assist any EEA employees to apply as soon as possible.
Having documentation demonstrating their status may assist when travelling in and out of the UK after Brexit and proving they have the right to work in the UK.
This is an important moment, and we wanted to suggest the following options that will help you raise awareness of the EU Settlement Scheme:
· Proactive inclusive communication available to your workforce (multilingual posters, leaflets, and infographics)
Sending a clear message – EU citizens are our colleagues, they are valued, and we want them to stay.
There are concerns that some EU nationals do not know that they need to apply for settled status, with some believing that as they hold a permanent residence card they need not apply. Consider creating videos with translated subtitles for EU nationals, since the visual information links better and is easier to understand for everyone.
· Q&A language specific virtual webinars
Reiterate what is required when applying to the EU settlement scheme. This is not required, or indeed compulsory, but employers with a substantial EU national workforce may wish to be more proactive in this regard and consider seeking external help from immigration specialists.
Consider Q&A virtual webinars in different languages delivered by an immigration solicitor assisted by PAB where we can share the importance of applying for EU Settlement Status, as well as the latest government updates ensuring colleagues are well-informed, included, supported, reassured, motivated, and valued. Regardless of their nationality or type of employment contract, now more than ever, all employees need communication, empathy, engagement, and connection.
Offer further assistance to apply for status
Provide access to computers to complete the application. Display posters to confirm what that looks like, where they can reserve access to a computer and what documentation will be required to facilitate the process (e.g., proof of identity, residency, and continuous residency documents). Bear in mind that your staff may not be comfortable with bringing their ID and residency documents to the workplace or carrying these around during the day.
Make it convenient for staff to select their ideal day and time to reserve access to a computer to ensure privacy and ensure the experience is not intimidating and they feel comfortable. A simple offer of refreshments or a question of how they feel and if they would like any assistance from an interpreter will be enough. It is free to apply and a step-by-step application guide is available in 26 European languages.
· PAB Virtual Hub
Provide access to our Virtual Hub, which is available for your employees in a form of short private individual sessions with a solicitor and an interpreter. Your employees will be able to book a one to one 30-minute session either with their workplace line manager or directly with a coordinator at PAB Languages.
How it works
Upon receiving all the initial enquires, we agree with you that an immigration solicitor and a certified language translator will be available for an agreed period of time on a specific day to assist your employee. Your employees can benefit from the sessions in the comfort of their own home or at work if they have access to a quiet private space and a computer.
While overall application numbers are high (4.6 million to date), language barriers, low levels of literacy and a lack of digital skills have left many without access to high-quality information about settled status, risking them dropping out of the system.
Subsequently, employees face losing the right to live and work in the UK unless they have status under the EU Settlement Scheme or status under another category of the Immigration Rules such as the Skilled Worker route (formerly known as Tier 2) or a Temporary Worker – Government Authorised Exchange visa (Tier 5).
For more information, please visit https://www.gov.uk/settled-status-eu-citizens-families
To speak with PAB Languages, please call 07799 772 360 or email firstname.lastname@example.org