As the UK takes further steps to exit the EU, it is a useful time for employers to take stock of their workforce.

Take stock now

There are currently no proposals as to what to do with EU nationals currently working in the UK. However, employers should start to ensure that they have tracked the nationalities of their workforce so that they are properly prepared once more details start to emerge.

If an employer has British citizens working in the EU, the same principle applies. We do not know what will happen with these individuals, but it is important that employers have already taken stock at this stage to know who is where to ensure that decisions can be taken quickly once details emerge.

Consider taking steps now to protect the workforce

There are certain measures that can be undertaken to assist with workforce planning. For example, EU nationals can seek to establish permanent residence if they meet the qualifying conditions. Alternatively, they can apply for a registration certificate or naturalisation. Different criteria apply for each.

Consider timing

Whilst it’s acknowledged in the wider press there are increased processing times for applications to the UK Home Office, in our experience a properly prepared and presented application is processed quickly and without delay.

One practical point to bear in mind is that, if any individuals wishes to make any application to the Home Office, then they will need to submit their passports generally for the period of the application, and therefore timing may well be key depending on their requirements to travel.