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Is your recruitment business ready for Brexit - Part 2 What we do know

Brexit Recruitment

By Natasha South - Operations Director, Camino Partners

Is your recruitment business ready for Brexit?

Check out Part 1 here.

As it stands today, the transition period for the UK leaving the EU is still set to end on 31st December. With the COVID-19 crisis still very much in full swing, we have to question whether there will (or should) be an extension to the transition period, given that we have still not managed to reach a deal, but reports have suggested this is very unlikely.

What we do know about Brexit.

The immigration changes have been fairly well laid out.

As of 1st January 2021, EU citizens will be required to have a visa to work in the UK the same as non-EU migrants.

Businesses employing EU migrants will need to obtain a sponsorship license.

Any EU citizens currently working in the UK can apply for ‘Settlement Status’ until 30th June 2021.

What does that mean for Recruitment?

How will Brexit affect recruiting EU nationals into the UK

  • Have you adapted your processes & RTW checks to ensure your candidates are able to work in your vacancies?

  • Have you discussed with your clients if they will be obtaining a sponsorship license? If not, how will that affect your ability to deliver on roles?

  • What support can you offer candidates and clients in the visa process? (Or do you know who can help them if you can’t?)

  • Have you thought strategically about how you will replenish your candidate pools where you are no longer able to use EU migrants?

  • How will this affect your client development strategies?

  • Can you invest in long term initiatives to generate candidates for the markets you work in? (Career movers, apprenticeships, etc.)

Will Brexit affect your internal employees?

  • Have your EU citizens applied for settled status?

  • Will you be applying for a sponsorship license?

(A recent ‘Impact report’ from APSCo & 6 Cats suggested less than 20% of recruitment businesses intend to get the license!)

  • How will that affect your own internal hiring policies?

  • How will this impact your culture?

How will Brexit affect recruiting into the EU?

This is where things get hazy due to the lack of clarity on a deal.

What we do know is that UK citizens no longer have free-movement rights and therefore will now be subject to the same visa requirements as non-EU migrants for working in EU countries. Further to this, there may now be further requirements for formal qualifications and certifications to be recognised within the EU.

  • Have you reviewed how your processes may need to change with RTW and verifying qualifications for UK migrants?

  • How will this affect your talent pool?

  • How will this affect your current contractors working the EU?

  • Have you researched how your commercial agreements might need to change?

  • Have you considered if you need to register an EU-based entity for your business?

These are just a few questions you need to be asking your business (and by no means an exhaustive list). This is not legal advice and the information is up to date as of November 2020. The fact is, no one can give you any definitive advice or guidance at the moment, but these are important considerations to have at the front of your mind.

What this highlights is why legal and compliance functions are so essential in the current climate. It is easy to lose focus on those departments that aren’t fee generating during tough times but the impact of not having these people in place will be far more destructive to your business.

Check out: How to build a compliance function from scratch

How could your compliance function save you £520k a year

If you need more information, please reach out and I can provide a list of resources -

If you need advice on how to establish or expand your legal and compliance team, get in touch with Sachin Ruparelia (CEO) for a consultation -