The latest Home Office statistics show a substantial increase in the amount of EU settlement scheme applications being refused. In this blog we take a look at the statistics and why it's important for employers to encourage their employees to apply early.

The statistics

As of 30 June 2020, there were 3.71 million applications to the EU settlement scheme (185,000 of which were from Scotland) and 3.46 million concluded applications. The statistics have also shown a large increase in the number of applications being refused recently. In May there had been 900 refusals. By 30 June this figure had risen to 2,300, representing a notable increase of 1,400 refusals and a trend of more applications being refused as time goes on.

Benefits of Applying early

This marked increase in refusals and cases where 'no status' has been granted emphasises the importance of encouraging your workforce to apply early. Some employers will have a very significant number of EU citizens (and their family members) working for them. The impact of a number of those employees not having permission to work as at 30 June 2021 could be costly and disruptive.

Ensuring your employees apply as early as possible will hopefully allow your staff to rectify any issues if the Home Office request further information or if an application is refused. It will mean that employees may have an opportunity to re-apply (where appropriate to do so) before the deadline of 30 June 2021 without impacting their eligibility to work in the UK. 

If an employee waits until close to the deadline of 30 June 2021 before applying and is subsequently refused, they may lose their eligibility to work -with an immediate impact on the individual and their employer. Applicants should also bear in mind that the application process is also taking longer due to COVID-19 delays.

There is clearly an incentive for both employers and their employees to have any issues flushed out early. Some applications may be refused as a result of suitability criteria (such as criminal records) and in some cases it may be as a result of insufficient information having been submitted to prove that they were eligible for either settled or pre-settled status. Brodies can advise on any such issues if they arise.

Illegal Working Issues

If an EU national is unable to prove that they have the right to live and work in the UK once the scheme has closed, this could ultimately lead to their dismissal. Not only will this have negative consequences on the employee, but it could also mean that the employer loses valuable members of its workforce as a result.

Migrant Worker Sessions: EU Settlement Scheme

We can offer virtual workshops for the EU nationals within your workforce. This can be a useful way to ensure that they are up to speed in relation to the EU settlement scheme application process and deadlines and to encourage them to apply early- mitigating the risk of problems arising at a later date. 

To discuss this further, or if you have any other questions regarding the EU settlement scheme, please contact Elaine McIlroy, or your usual Brodies contact.


Workbox by Brodies users can also access detailed information in relation to immigration matters, including the settlement scheme and right to work checks on our dedicated immigration pages.