Anyone employee who thinks they qualify for permanent residence would be well advised to make an application for a permanent residence. This is partly to get ready for any transitional arrangements but is also to give people who do not qualify now a chance to make sure they do qualify. To put it another way, it will be at least two years before EU free movement law ceases to apply and that may be enough time for some people to ensure they do qualify for permanent residence, or at least are on the road to doing so.
In short, any EU national in the UK will need to evidence five continuous years of a qualifying activity. The five year period could be any five year period, not just the last five years. You can also “mix and match” your qualifying activities, so you can combine say 2 years of employment with 3 years of being a student.
For those in continuous employment over the five year qualifying period the application process and supporting documents should be fairly straightforward.
In some instance EU staff may not only have acquired permanent rights of residence but they potentially may be eligible to naturalise as British Citizens.
If an employee falls into the category of those who do not at present qualify for permanent residence at this stage then then it would be advisable for that EU nationals and his family members apply for Registration Certificates or cards as formal evidence of their current status in the UK with one eye on the future.
At this stage as an employer it is important for you to understand the position as it stand today and provide the support, assistance and information that your employees need particularly, those who are still uncertain about what they should do to best protect their position.