Brexit text with flags

Brexit – Is your business ready for 1st January 2021?

There’s still a lot of information to be finalised for Brexit and many things seem to still be up in the air. At WeDo, we want to share our knowledge to ensure that, whatever your business, you are ready for the change. After all, we all know that being prepared is the best way to stop a crisis further down the line.

The main topics we’ve been asked about are how this affects employers from a HR perspective, and how it will affect trade businesses who deal with the EU.

Human Resources

We spoke to Sarah at WeDo HR for her top tips for employers and employees in the run-up to Brexit:

  • If you are hiring an EU Citizen, then they need to have the right to work until June 2021. This can be verified by passport or National Identity Card. Non-EU members will need an immigration status document.
  • The new immigration System means migrant workers will need a visa in advance. EU Skilled workers will need a job offer letter to get a working Visa. Employers will need to be an approved sponsor.
  • EU, EEA and Swiss citizens already living in the UK will need to apply for the EU Settlement Scheme to continue living in the UK, the deadline for this is June 2021. Employers are obligated to check their employees have applied for this scheme so they can legally continue their employment. Those residing in the UK for longer than 5 years can apply for ‘Settled Status’.
  • It is advisable that any EU, EEA and Swiss employees that live outside the UK but regularly travel to the UK for work also apply to the EU Settlement Scheme.
  • Employers need to check all their employee’s nationalities and current immigration status and keep up to date records.
  • If someone is working unlawfully by not acquiring any of the aforementioned documentation then there is a risk of criminal liability and fines of £20,000 per person.
  • You have a duty not to discriminate against EU, EEA or Swiss citizens. You cannot require them to show you their status under the EU Settlement Scheme until after 30 June 2021.

Of course, you could let us handle the headache for you. WeDo HR Support are here to keep detailed records of all of your employees, we can chase documents and support with any advice the companies or employees may require.

Trade Advice

Be prepared to have to make some changes to your existing processes if you deal in import/export trade. From the 1 st January 2021 there will be legal requirements and documentation to think about when importing goods to the UK. If you don’t have everything in place, this can result in delays, unseen
costs and the potential to lose customers.

What do you need to do?

  • Firstly, Familiarise yourself with the transition page on the government website. You will need an EORI number and you may need to register for VAT
  • Decide who will make your customs declarations and transport the goods (you can do this yourself or you may want to hire customs agents or 3 rd party logistics providers)
  • Classify your goods; This is done with a commodity code which will tell you what duty there is and if you need an import license.
  • You need to know the value of your goods.
  • Have you checked if you need a license or certificate? This is usually for good such as plants, animals, products or medicines etc but can be wide ranging.
  • A declaration will be needed to get your goods through UK customs. When duty is paid you’ll get a C79 (VAT Certificate), if you are VAT Registered you can use this as proof to claim it back.
  • Very importantly you must keep good records. All C79 Certificates, invoices and any paperwork that shows who owns the goods.
  • Nothing has changed when importing goods to the UK from Northern Ireland.

WeDo Trade Finance can help take the stresses and financial worries out of any trade, whether domestic purchases or imports. We want to keep you happy, keep your customers happy and help grow your business. We want you to receive all your goods on time and avoid any setbacks that often happen when things change.

Here are some more links that may help you to prepare:

EU – Exit | GC Business Growth Hub