New data recently published by the Office for National Statistics reveals the critical importance of overseas workers to the ongoing viability of the tourism industry. It shows that 24.1% of ‘routine’ jobs are held by EU workers (compared to 14.9% by British workers).

Employers are being encouraged to raise awareness of the EU Settlement Scheme amongst workers to ensure they apply, so that they can remain in the UK and fill these roles. Already a million EU citizens and their families have been granted settled or pre-settled status under the Scheme. For restaurants, bars, pubs and hotels to retain their vital pool of workers to fill roles such as bar, waiting and cleaning staff, ensuring they have gained the right to remain and to work in the UK is essential.

There should be few barriers for workers who decide to apply. In the run up to Brexit, the Home Office has 1500 staff working on the Scheme, including a team running a dedicated, 7-days a week phone service.

The application process has been kept simple and checks just 3 elements – identity, UK residence and criminal record. To carry out the checks applicants need a passport of national identity card to prove identity. Their National Insurance number can be used as proof of residency. There also is no fee to apply for settled status.

This process applies to EU, EEA and Swiss citizens and will provide either settled or pre-settled status (depending on length of residence in the UK), allowing applicants to continue to live in the UK after 30 June 2021.

The deadline for applying will be 30 June 2021 if a deal is agreed, or 31 December 2020 if there is a no deal.

More details about applying for settled status can be found HERE