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March 6, 2019

CPA urges Brexit awareness

Filed under: Latest News — EHN Team @ 11:36 am

With less than four weeks to go before the UK is due to leave the EU on 29 March, the CPA is urging its members and organisations in the construction industry to consider contingency planning, to be aware of potential delays in the supply chain and to assist and guide EU staff accordingly.

Kevin Minton, Chief Executive, said: “The prospect of a no deal Brexit remains real and we urge our members to consider contingency planning and risk assessment around the impact this could potentially have. Companies need to be aware of where they fit in the construction supply chains they operate in, and a no deal Brexit could mean potential delays in work if supplies being imported from the EU are held up by customs checks. This will, in turn, impact on work schedules and project delivery in both the short and medium term.

“In such a period of uncertainty, open dialogue and communication are absolutely critical at all levels of projects between contractors, sub-contractors, suppliers and clients in order to identify potential delays and issues that might not be immediately obvious. A no deal Brexit might impact on companies in many unexpected ways and only by being open with each other can these issues be identified and overcome,” he continued.

“We cannot ignore the impact leaving the EU may well have on the availability of labour. Companies should take every step to ensure their EU staff are aware of the steps they need to take to apply under the EU Settlement Scheme for both themselves and their families.”

Under the current Withdrawal Agreement, EU staff and their family members who have lived in the UK for at least five years, up to and including 31December 2020, are able to apply for UK Settled Status. Under the scheme, if they have been here for less than five years, they can apply for Pre-Settled Status until they meet the full criteria. The scheme will open fully by 30 March 2019. The deadline for applicants will be 30 June 2021, or if a deal is not agreed between the UK and EU, 31 December 2020.

CPA says companies should assess how many staff are likely to be affected and check they are aware of what they must do to remain in the UK. The Home Office has set up a website outlining the process EU nationals must take and the qualifying criteria needed to apply for the EU settlement scheme, at https://www.gov.uk/settled-status-eu-citizens-families for further information.

Companies should also make sure EU employees register and receive regular email updates from the Home office at https://gov.smartwebportal.co.uk/homeoffice/public/webform.asp?id=67&id2=627DF7

The Department for Exiting the EU has published a policy paper which sets out how the EU Settlement Scheme would operate in the event of no deal Brexit, providing guidance and information for EU citizens in the UK and UK nationals living in the EU. This can be found at https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/762222/Policy_paper_on_citizens__rights_in_the_event_of_a_no_deal_Brexit.pdf

Employees do not have to apply for any of the schemes if they are Irish, they have indefinite leave to enter the UK, or they have indefinite leave to remain in the UK.

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