Brexit worry continues to plague HR departments as leave date looms.

Mobility confusion.

A survey undertaken by background and identity services company Sterling has found just five per cent of HR professionals are satisfied with their understanding of the impact of Brexit on their current and future workforce. This means the vast majority of HR professionals are uncomfortable with their understanding of the move – despite the UK being set to leave at the end of this week.

The research was carried out during Sterling’s webinar, ‘Background Screening, Brexit and Best Practice Considerations for Employers’. The survey found only five per cent of respondents felt ‘very comfortable’ with their understanding of the impact of Brexit on their workforce. In addition to this, 60 per cent felt ‘uncomfortable’ with their knowledge on the matter.

The webinar, conducted with legal experts from Fragomen LLP – offered advice to HR professionals on their Brexit obligations and insights, Right to Work check considerations and Brexit impact on cross-border data transfers.

According to Sterling, businesses need to be wary of getting ‘lost’ in compliance and ensure they have the steps in place to mitigate potential risks.

“While the uncertainty from businesses towards Brexit is worrying – it’s important that HR teams aren’t daunted by the UK’s exit from the EU,” said Steve Smith, managing director EMEA at Sterling. “By taking action now firms can thrive in a post-Brexit era, with or without a deal.

“If firms take the time to understand the ins and outs of the EU settlement scheme, right to work processes, sponsored status, and cross-border data transfers – HR professionals can be confident in future-proofing their business no matter what happens,” he added. “Preparation is key to change – by making sure the right resources, knowledge and processes are in place, HR teams will be in a great position to adapt to post-Brexit challenges.”

Naomi Goldschtein, Senior Manager at Fragomen, commented: “It’s important that HR firms understand the effect Brexit will have on their workforce. As it stands, if there is a deal – a transition period will be in place until 31 December 2020.

“During this time the benefits associated with freedom of movement would remain in place, including the right to work in the UK, and unrestricted business travel,” she said. “EEA/Swiss nationals would have until the 30th June 2021 to make an application under EU settlement scheme.

“However, in a no deal scenario, EEA/Swiss nationals will need to make EU settlement scheme applications by 31st of December 2020. After this date, those entering the UK will be required to make application under the new immigration system.”

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