Sep 29, 2020 - Changes to Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme from 1 October 2020

The government's Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) moves into its final phase this October before a new scheme comes into force. The CJRS will close on 31 October 2020.

From 1st October, the government will pay 60% of wages up to a cap of £1,875 for the hours the employee is on furlough. Employers will pay ER NICs and pension contributions and top up employees’ wages to ensure they receive 80% of their wages up to a cap of £2,500, for time they are furloughed.

Employers will continue to able to choose to top up employee wages above the 80% total and £2,500 cap for the hours not worked at...

Sep 29, 2020 - What is a frontier worker permit and will it help people commuting into the UK for work?

With months to go to the end of free movement on the rather apocalyptic sounding “IP Completion day” (the end of the implementation period, at 11pm on 31 December 2020), the post-Brexit immigration system is finally beginning to take shape.

We now know that there will be another new visa available from 1 January 2021, one aimed at cross-border or “frontier” workers.

Frontier workers are people who work in one country but who live primarily in another. Free movement laws enabled this working pattern to develop and flourish within the EU, but Brexit has left frontier workers who commute into the...

Sep 28, 2020 - Applying for settled and pre-settled status requires genuine residence

The rules on pre-settled status

It is true that under Appendix EU of the Immigration Rules, which put into effect the citizens’ rights provisions of the Withdrawal Agreement, a qualifying EU citizen can move to the UK any time before the end of the transition period on 31 December 2020. But those rules also make it clear that someone must have completed a “continuous qualifying period in the UK” to be eligible for the EU Settlement Scheme.

For those who are applying for pre-settled status, that will be a continuous qualifying period of less than five years, which will of course have to be befo...

Sep 28, 2020 - 70 new job types being added to Shortage Occupation List

Under the government’s new Points-Based Immigration System, the minimum salary required to sponsor an overseas worker will be £25,600, unless the worker has a PhD — or is being hired for a role that appears on the Shortage Occupation List. The minimum salary for a shortage job will instead be £20,480. As the Migration Advisory Committee says in its major review of the Shortage Occupation List, published today, this “fundamentally alters the nature of the SOL”. A job being included on the list will mean that employers can sponsor someone for a visa at a salary up to 20% lower than would otherwi...

Sep 24, 2020 - What is the legal status of EU citizens during the post-Brexit “grace period”?

As we’re constantly being reminded, free movement will come to an end this year. From 1 January 2021, EU/EEA/Swiss citizens who wish to move to the UK to work and study will have to meet the requirements of the new points-based immigration system. Existing residents have until 30 June 2021 to apply for settled or pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme.

But what of the EU/EEA/Swiss citizens and their family members who already live in the UK (or move here before 1 January), and who only make their Settlement Scheme application in the first six months of 2021? To allow for this six-mo...

Sep 23, 2020 - British government announces new emergency jobs scheme

Chancellor Rishi Sunak has outlined new measures to protect millions of jobs to support the economy in the wake of the Covid-19 crisis.

The Job Support Scheme which will replace the furlough scheme when it ends, will directly top up the wages of employees working fewer hours due to suppressed business demand, enabling workers to keep their jobs on shorter hours rather than being made redundant. It will run for six months from November.

Employees must work at least one-third of their normal hours and be paid for that work as normal, but the government will increase wages covering the remaining ...

Sep 23, 2020 - Coronavirus: Autumn Budget to be scrapped this year

The Chancellor Rishi Sunak has postponed his November Budget until next year amid the financial turmoil created by the pandemic, but today will announce how a replacement for the furlough scheme will form part of a new economic rescue package.

Rishi Sunak is expected to announce a wage subsidy scheme for people only able to work part-time, along with an extension to four different lending schemes. These should help keep credit flowing to businesses hit by the fallout from the virus, while companies could be given more time to pay VAT and other tax bills.

Typically, the government outlines the ...

Sep 23, 2020 - The end of the Tier 2 cooling-off period is on the horizon

Whilst we are all awaiting new Immigration Rules for the Skilled Worker route, which will replace Tier 2 (General) in the new Points-Based Immigration System, some good news is starting to emerge. The cooling-off period, which has seen many a skilled migrant having to spend a year outside the UK before they can return to work, will not be carried over to the new Skilled Worker route.

The Home Office has been actively engaging with stakeholders in recent weeks to explain some of the finer details of the system.

The cooling-off period rule has created havoc for vast numbers of skilled migrants, ...

Sep 23, 2020 - Immigration Health Surcharge increase to £624 delayed

The Immigration Health Surcharge will no longer increase from £400 to £624 on 1 October 2020 as originally planned.

The draft order setting a 1 October date for the increase has been replaced by a new draft order which still hikes up the surcharge but only comes into force 21 days after it is made into law. Since it hasn’t yet been made, it cannot come into force on the 1st.

The new version of the order is almost in place, though: it has been approved by the House of Commons (on 22 September) and the House of Lords (on 23 September). That means all it needs is a minister’s signature to become ...

Sep 23, 2020 - EU deportation protections continue after Brexit

From next year there will be two categories of EEA national:

  1. Those who began their residence in the UK before 31 December 2020; and
  2. Those who began their residence in the UK after 31 December 2020.

The law a person is subject to will depend on which category they fall into. Family members of EEA nationals will be similarly categorised. They get all the same rights as the EEA citizen, even if they are a national of a non-EEA country.

The EU law rules on deportation will continue to apply to EEA nationals and their family members who fall within the first category. For those in the sec...