Post-Brexit employment changes

Posted on January 26th, 2021

Pre-employment checks

From 1 January 2021, schools can no longer check for teacher sanctions or restrictions imposed by an EEA professional regulating authority. Teachers should be asked to provide a letter of professional standing in the country that they worked in place of the information previously accessible to the Teaching Regulation Authority (TRA).

Settled status

A reminder that if an employee is an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen, they are eligible to apply for the EU settlement scheme (EUSS) up until 30 June 2021. This allows workers and their families to continue living in the UK after this date.

Up until 30 June 2021, during the recruitment process, an applicant from the EU may still use their European passport or national identity card as proof that they are eligible to work in the UK. After this date, an applicant will need to show proof that they have been granted settled status, or that their application is being processed.

Government guidance is that, up until 30 June 2021, employers should not be checking whether an existing employee has applied for settled status. If an employer does ask an employee, this could be classed as discrimination, on the basis of country of origin. However, the government’s advice is that it would be good practice to provide staff with the necessary information. The CIPD recommends having a conversation with members of staff in a supportive way, to find out if they have applied, or intend to apply, and to offer help with the process.

QTS applications

Teachers who qualified in the EEA or Switzerland will still be able to apply for qualified teacher status (QTS) in England, but the process is changing. From 1 January 2021, teachers who qualified in any of these countries applying for QTS will need to provide a letter of professional standing. The letter will need to be from the organisation responsible for regulating teachers in the country in which they qualified. This will allow the DfE to validate their qualification.

The letter should:

  • Confirm that they are recognised as a qualified teacher in any EU member state, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland.
  • Show they are not subject to any restrictions in that country.
  • Be dated within the three months before their application.