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‘Settled status’ applications must work for EU staff, say small firms

Responding to the latest Home Affairs Committee report on the implications of Brexit for the UK immigration system, Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) National Chairman Mike Cherry, said:

“One in five small firms that employ staff has an EU worker on their books. By providing so little guidance on what the future looks like for these vital workers, the Government is making it that much harder for small firms to plan ahead.

“It’s absolutely vital that the process for securing ‘settled status’ is as streamlined as possible once it’s off the ground. Almost all small business owners have no experience of using the points-based immigration system, so we need to avoid a situation where they’re expected to double up as immigration officers.   
“Ideally, we’d have one set of immigration rule changes post-Brexit. As things stand, small firms are facing a new set of rules during the transition period and a new set of rules again once we get to 2021. Those switchovers need to cause minimal disruption to small firms. Otherwise, the Government risks shocks to the wider economy.”