The EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS) was launched on 30 March 2019.

This new scheme will enable EU, EEA or Swiss citizens and their family members to continue living and working in the UK after it leaves the EU. The scheme allows those here before 31 December 2020 (in a deal scenario) to apply for their new immigration status.

Care providers must ensure their workforce and the people who use their services have the right to work and receive services in the UK.

Application process

It’s free to apply to the scheme.

Applicants only need to complete three key steps. More details can be found here.

We are working with the Care Provider Alliance to develop information and advice on the EU Settlement Scheme and its implications for the adult social care workforce, people who use social care services and their family and friends in England.

Please visit the dedicated page on the Care Provider Alliance’s website for further information.

The deadline for applying to the EU Settlement Scheme is 30 June 2021.

If you have any questions about this work, please contact [email protected] who is leading this project on behalf of the Care Provider Alliance.

Shaping the UK’s Post-Brexit Work Immigration System – what our members said

The team here at the National Care Forum would like to thank all our members who submitted evidence through our survey, a summary of which is below.

We have now presented your views to the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) as part of their consultation on potential future salary thresholds and an ‘Australian-style’ points-based system post-Brexit for workers from overseas. The MAC is now analysing the feedback we and other organisations have provided. We will let you know as soon as the committee has published its findings.

The MAC has already acknowledged the recruitment and retention issues faced by the social care sector and we would expect these to be fully considered in its response to the Home Office. Indeed, as Skills for Care’s most recent data shows, there are currently 122,000 vacancies and a turnover of 30.8% in the sector in England. It is therefore critical, now more than ever, that the social care sector has its voice heard by our politicians in light of these workforce pressures. As the General Election campaign gets into full swing, and different parties make big spending promises on a whole range of areas, we have an opportunity to make the voice of the social care sector heard. Indeed, we’re currently hearing quite a lot of promises about the NHS’s workforce and a post-Brexit ‘NHS Visa’ but very little about an adult social care counterpart. Social care needs to be treated in parity to the NHS.

As your evidence shows, the sector expects social care providers to have the option of recruiting care workers from overseas using salary thresholds that align with the national minimum wage. Any special treatment given to the NHS needs to be applied to Health and Social Care if a crisis is to be avoided.

The National Care Forum is calling on all our members to make some noise over the next few weeks about recruitment and retention pressures in the sector and concerns surrounding post-Brexit immigration system arrangements. There are many ways you can do this, including attending local hustings or inviting politicians into your homes to get to know your services. Make yourselves impossible to ignore in this campaign and let us know what you are doing!

What you told us:

Salary Thresholds for overseas workers
– The majority of respondents strongly agreed that there should not be a minimum salary threshold above the legal requirement.
– If introduced, many respondents felt that salary thresholds needed to be responsive to reflect employer needs.
– Respondents strongly agreed that a minimum salary requirement for an experienced full-time employee of £30,000 was too high to be financially viable and raised issues about differentials in pay grades.
– The majority of respondents felt that jobs judged to be in shortage should have lower salary thresholds compared to those not in shortage.

Tier 2 (General) Visa

– The majority of respondents have recruited workers from EEA countries (outside the UK/Ireland) or from non-EEA countries over the last five years.
– The majority of respondents plan to continue to recruit workers from both EEA countries (outside the UK/Ireland) or from non-EEA countries over the next 12 months.
– The majority of respondents do not know if their Tier 2 (General) visa workers are eligible for, or have applied for, settlement status.
A large number of respondents reported issues in attempting to use the Tier 2 (General) Visa system both in relation to salary requirements and more generally. Some of this is down to knowledge of the system but it is more often down to pay.
While all respondents pay the National Living Wage, and in many cases pay higher than the NLW, these salary rates do not meet the threshold for Tier 2 (General) Visas. This is also the case for respondents paying the Real Living Wage. Other issues reported include quota restrictions and the complexity of the Tier 2 (General) Visa system making it difficult to use in practice.

‘Australian’ Points-Based System

Respondents were very clear that their top four most important characteristics in awarding points within such a system were:

1. Priority Occupation
2. Work Experience
3. Language Proficiency
4. Having a job Offer

Respondents said that the age of the worker was the least important characteristic.

Considering the scale of such a system and the changes it would bring, the National Care Forum expressed surprise to the MAC that there was only one question in their consultation on this topic. We have asked the MAC for further opportunities to input into the work of the commission on exploring the potential of a UK version of a points-based immigration system.

Links to articles and information

July 2016: Kings Fund Implications of UK vote to leave the EU on Adult Social Care

July 2016: Skills for Care Nationality of the workforce

July 2016: Blog post: EU know how serious this is for social care

July 2016: Anthony Collins Solicitors Brexit – Implications on Legal Rights

Dec 2018: Blog post: Brexit, what else is there to talk about

March 2019: Government launch the EU Settlement Scheme

Oct 2019: Nursing and Midwifery Council communication plans in relation to EU exit

April 2019: Care Provider Alliance launch contingency planning document

Oct 2019: Skills for Care workforce nationality figures

Dec 2019: Care Provider Alliance launch resources to assist with EU Settlement Scheme

March 2020: Government announcement: Delays in processing times due to COVOD-19

March 2020: Government announcement: EU Settlement Scheme ID document scanner locations

April 2020: Government announcement: Temporary changes to the way you check right to work documents

April 2020: Government announcement: Guidance for caseworkers considering applications under the EU Settlement Scheme.

April 2020: EU Settlement scheme guidelines: Updated the lower-skilled workers section for clarity

April 2020: EU Settlement Scheme: community support for vulnerable citizens: Added guidance about coronavirus (COVID-19).