Apr 01, 2021 - Social workers can get settled status for EU kids in care without parental consent

Among the groups of people radically unlikely to have picked up on the official messaging about immigration status deadlines is EU citizen children in care. The Home Office has already published guidance on the responsibilities of social workers in getting applications lodged on behalf of such children, but a survey in late 2020 found that only around half the 3,300 eligible kids in care had applied so far. And so the Family Division of the High Court has now weighed in on the issue, in an important judgment issued yesterday: W and Re Z (EU Settled Status for Looked After Children) [2021] EWHC...

Mar 31, 2021 - UK exporters consider 'worst case scenario' plans

Many exporters to the EU are still struggling with the added cost and complexity of shipping goods to the UK's largest export market, three months after the new post-Brexit border procedures kicked in.

An initial 41% plunge in goods going to the EU in January was described by the government as "teething problems" which it said were hard to separate out from the impact of COVID-related disruption.

The government insists that "overall freight volumes between the UK and the EU" have been back to their normal levels since the start of February, and that there is no general disruption at UK ports.


Mar 30, 2021 - EU residence documents are no longer valid after 30 June 2021

Although the UK left the European Union on 31 January 2020 and the post-Brexit transition period came to an end on 31 December 2020, certain aspects of EU free movement law continue to apply into 2021 — but not for much longer. Old EU residence documents such as permanent residence cards, UK residence cards and derivative residence cards continue to be valid only until 30 June 2021, when this “grace period” comes to an end.

These documents have effectively been replaced by the newer pre-settled status and settled status, although these are not granted automatically and anyone who only has an o...

Mar 30, 2021 - IR35: April 2021 changes to off-payroll workers

HMRC have confirmed that IR35 changes will be coming into effect from 6 April 2021 which is set to affect businesses, contractors and self-employed workers alike. Worryingly, recent research highlighted many organisations are not ready for the rollout.

The private sector reform was due to take place in April last year, but was delayed because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

IR35 is another name for the off-payroll working rules. It is designed to assess whether a contractor is a genuine contractor rather than a ‘disguised’ employee, for the purposes of paying tax.

Contractors who work through their ...

Mar 30, 2021 - No British citizenship for man who allowed Pakistani nationality to lapse

Section 4B of the British Nationality Act 1981 entitles people with certain British nationality statuses to register as British citizens if they:

  • do not have any other citizenship or nationality, and
  • have not, since 19 March 2009, “renounced, voluntarily relinquished or lost through action or inaction any citizenship or nationality”.

The statuses mentioned in section 4B include British Overseas Citizens — many of whom have been embroiled in lengthy legal battles — as well as British National (Overseas) or BNO citizens.

One of those trying to invoke this provision was Hashim Tariq, wh...

Mar 29, 2021 - Coronavirus and the UK immigration system as of 29 March 2021

People stuck in the UK

Some people who were in the UK when the pandemic hit were unable to leave before their permission to be here expired because of travel restrictions. The government had been allowing people in this situation to easily extend their visas through a simplified online application process, but that concession has now been replaced with “exceptional assurance”, a promise of extra time to stay that falls short of proper leave to remain.

The first version of the coronavirus concession was introduced on 17 February 2020. It unilaterally conferred leave to remain until 31 March 20...

Mar 28, 2021 - Covid: Rapid home test kits to be available for workers

Employers in England will be able to offer free rapid coronavirus tests to staff to take at home under the extension of a government scheme.

Home kits will be offered to firms with more than 10 employees from 6 April, where on-site testing is not possible.

Businesses should register by 12 April for the lateral flow tests, which can give results in less than 30 minutes, and they are free until 30 June.

Some 60,000 firms have already signed up for workplace testing.

The hope is that asymptomatic cases can be detected quickly, helping to prevent workplace outbreaks.

The wider availability of the ...

Mar 26, 2021 - People may quit if forced to work from home, Rishi Sunak warns

The chancellor has warned bosses that staff may quit if they are not allowed to work from the office as the UK emerges from lockdown.

Rishi Sunak said that employees would "vote with their feet" and could consider leaving for a rival if made to work from home full time.

A number of companies have announced plans to close offices prompting fears for city centres.

But now the chancellor has urged firms not to abandon the office altogether.

Mr Sunak told the newspaper that home working is no substitute for an office environment with "people riffing off each other".

"You can't beat the spontaneity...

Mar 26, 2021 - Covid: February redundancy plans fall despite lockdown

British firms planned fewer job cuts last month despite many being forced to close by Covid lockdowns.

About 26,600 jobs were put at risk, one-fifth below January's figure and slightly lower than February 2020.

The numbers suggest that government support schemes have helped prevent the mass redundancies seen in the first lockdown.

The figures from the Insolvency Service were obtained by a BBC Freedom of Information request.

Employers planning 20 or more redundancies have to notify the government via the Insolvency Service by filing a form called HR1.

Because these filings happen at the start o...

Mar 26, 2021 - Let more refugees in if they’re good for the economy – report urges

The government should consider introducing visas for people both in need of humanitarian assistance and who can make an economic contribution to the UK, a new report suggests.

The Social Market Foundation argues there should be a way for migrants to enter the UK on “combined economic integration and humanitarian grounds”, rather than maintaining the rigid distinction between economic migrants and refugees.

The researchers point to a “hole” in UK immigration policy. People with both skills and humanitarian needs, but who don’t tick all the boxes for either a work visa or refugee status, end up ...