Deadline looming for construction companies employing EU citizens

Construction companies employing EU workers must ensure that their employees have applied for settled status in the UK before 30 June 2021, say tax and advisory firm Blick Rothenberg. Heather Powell, a partner at the firm spoke to Building Products about the issue.

The EU Settlement scheme allows EU citizens to continue working in the UK until 30 June without applying for ‘settled status’.

EU citizens who work in the UK from 1 July must have ‘settled status’ – which can be obtained by making applications through the government website – www.gov.uk. No fees are payable, but workers must make the applications themselves, or cease working here.

Employers such as construction companies must not ignore this issue. Businesses who are found guilty of employing someone who they knew, or have reasonable cause to believe’ did not have the right to work in the UK can face an unlimited fine and a jail term of up to 5 years. Businesses who do not do the correct checks, or do not perform checks correctly, can be fined up to £20,000.

The reliance on EU workers in the construction industry is well known. Construction companies need to ensure all EU workers know they need to apply for settled status before 30 June to ensure they avoid skill shortages on site – or fines and potentially jail terms.