As part of a Home Office initiative, Mario Amato, Head of Group Business Development at White & Company, was invited to join a business-led steering committee in August. Established to develop a working settlement scheme on behalf of EU nationals, Mario was nominated by Thames Valley Chamber of Commerce CEO Paul Britton.
Those expressly invited were chosen by the Home Office for employing high levels of both EU and UK workers. Through a series of workshops, attendees were asked their views on an array of issues affecting their staff, with the results forming the basis for those living in the UK in a post-Brexit era.
Following the findings identified, the Home Office launched a comprehensive toolkit to help EU nationals navigate the complexities of applying for settled status. In addition, it provides companies that employ EU workers the relevant information and collateral in 23 languages through videos, how-to-guides, leaflets and posters.
The results of the meetings, coupled with the toolkit, were unveiled at a special launch event that took place at the Home Office, attended by those that were part of the steering committee, the Home Secretary Sajid Javid, Immigration Minister Caroline Nokes and senior officials from government.
Mario commented: “We employ a large number of EU national workers and having spoken to our staff we were keen to get their views and concerns aired and what better way than to the government officials responsible for creating the blueprint that will be put forward. When the opportunity arose through the Chamber’s connections it provided the perfect platform. Sadly, what we are hearing both from our own staff and generally is that many EU workers feel unwelcome, because of the uncertainty of their residency status post Brexit. We need to alleviate these concerns in a positive manner and with the appropriate tools to help them rest assure that employers and the government are working together during this time. The toolkit answers the questions many employers and employees are now asking and ensures they have all the information needed.”
The Home Secretary said: “Our settlement scheme will offer security and certainty to EU citizens living in the UK. Once the scheme has launched, employers, industry groups and charities will play a vital role in ensuring they can secure their status quickly and easily. The toolkit will help us to reach out to all EU citizens living in this country and help them get their new immigration status.”
The settlement scheme will open in a phased way later this year and will be fully open by 30 March, 2019. The deadline for applications will be 30 June, 2021.
Photo: Mario Amato