Guidance for businesses: EU Settlement Scheme presents challenges for construction workers, suggests trade body
The Home Office has launched the public test phase of the EU settlement scheme, before its full launch on 29 March 2019.
EU nationals who have the following can now start to use the EU settlement scheme to secure their residence rights:
· An email address
· A current EU passport
· A debit or credit card
· An Android Phone with near-field communications (NFC) settings enabled - to scan EU passports
The Home Office will grant ‘settled status’ to applicants who have lived for a continuous period of five years in the UK. EU citizens applying for the scheme who have lived in the UK for fewer than five years will receive ‘pre-settled status’, allowing them to apply for full settled status once they accumulate the full five years or residence at no extra cost.
But the National Federation of Builders (NFB), which has repeatedly urged the government to provide certainty for the 164,000 EU nationals who work in the UK’s construction industry has warned that more must be done to support skilled construction workers who may not have the language or technical skills to understand how to apply for settled status.
Richard Beresford, chief executive of the NFB, said: “The Government needs to make resources available such as translators to discuss applications with caseworkers on their behalf. An unintended consequence could be that we cannot build the 800 homes each day we need to meet demand – not because people do not have the right to work in the UK, but because they could not navigate the system.”