Brexit – the story for employers so far

The UK electorate voted to leave the European Union in a referendum on 23 June 2016. The legal process for exiting the EU began when the UK notified of its intention to withdraw under Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty on 29 March 2017. The UK and the EU had two years to decide on the terms of the withdrawal, particularly the extent of the UK’s access to the single market versus the degree to which EU workers retain freedom of movement to the UK.

On 21 March 2019, eight days before the scheduled departure date, the EU offered to delay Brexit until 22 May if MPs approve the deal that has been negotiated. If they could not, a no-deal Brexit would happen on 12 April.

On 11 April, the EU allowed a “flexible extension” to 31 October 2019. Boris Johnson, who took over as prime minister in July, had vowed to leave the EU by that date “do or die”, having negotiated a new deal with the EU. However on 28 October 2019, the EU agreed to extend Brexit again, this time to 31 January 2020.

Our Brexit pages provide news and guidance on all aspects of the UK’s exit from the EU.

Civil Service praised for agility amid extreme Brexit pressure

Brexit proved the service could be agile and has led to a focus on employee wellbeing. But it also soured relationships with ministers.

Immigration Bill is ‘not fair and not in the national interest’

18 May 2020

Labour accuses government of undervaluing people in low paid jobs in the health and social care sector and says immigration bill will make them feel unwelcome in this country.

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Only 2% of businesses licenced to hire migrant workers from next year

14 May 2020

Organisations still hoping to apply for a sponsor licence before the end of the year are 'cutting applications to the wire'.

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Huge rise in crop-picking job searches

9 Apr 2020

Indeed, Monster and TotalJobs report surge in farm-related job searches from within the UK.

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Coronavirus to put downward pressure on wage growth

19 Mar 2020

Employers expect pay increases to remain low in the year ahead, as they consider the financial impact the coronavirus outbreak...

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Ten key points about the sponsor licence system

4 Mar 2020

Gaining a sponsor licence will be crucial for many organisations under the new immigration system; but it can be a complex procedure.

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Top 10 HR questions February 2020: Coronavirus and right-to-work checks

3 Mar 2020

How to respond to the risk of the spread of coronavirus is the subject of February’s most popular FAQs.
Employers...

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farm workers uk

EU immigration hits 15-year low, adding to business skills fears

28 Feb 2020

Non-EU immigration has increased again but is driven by people - predominantly from Asia - coming to study.

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Points-based immigration: five things employers can do now

24 Feb 2020

Employers have been advised not to panic in reaction to the newly published details on the proposed points-based immigration system...

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UK’s immigration rules could create low-skilled worker ‘black market’

21 Feb 2020

The government’s points-based immigration rules could increase the risk of worker exploitation, human trafficking and modern slavery by criminal gangs,...

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Points-based immigration scheme shuts out low-skilled workers

19 Feb 2020

Low-skilled workers would not get a visa under the government’s proposed points-based immigration scheme, details of which have been published...

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visa applications

Fall in visa applications triggers skills warning for private sector

17 Feb 2020

Business consultancy warns of skills shortfall as number of visa applications from non-EU skilled workers has fallen.

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The new cabinet and Boris Johnson

Prime minister sets date for points-based immigration system

14 Feb 2020

Downing Street has announced that the new points-based immigration system will be implemented from 1 January 2021.

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Top 10 HR questions January 2020: Coronavirus and Brexit

7 Feb 2020

What steps should employers take to manage the coronavirus outbreak?
At the start of the new year, employers have been...

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Lords launches IR35 inquiry as freelancer confidence ‘plummets’

6 Feb 2020

A House of Lords select committee is to scrutinise the extension of IR35 rules to the private sector, just two...

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