The Northern Affinity Partners Meeting – Friday 31st July 2020

August 4th, 2020

Well, somehow we’ve arrived in August. It’s almost our first birthday! This latest virtual partner meeting was an opportunity to go through a number of changes ahead of September. All will be revealed soon. But it’s safe to say that The Northern Affinity is growing. We’re excited to have you along for the ride. 

One of these changes is the introduction of a series of ‘How To’ events. Thank you to all that have responded expressing your interest in running a session. It’ll be a great learning opportunity for everyone. Depending on the lockdown guidelines (we know these are currently affecting areas of West Yorkshire), our local meet ups will be happening throughout the next few months. These sessions are an excellent introduction to your local partners and an opportunity to catch up and discuss local ideas and initiatives. 

The Impact on SME businesses of Brexit

Amidst the grip of the pandemic, Brexit has been largely forgotten about. However, Craig and Julia of Stone King LLP  kindly walked us through the considerations we should be making as business owners hiring European nationals throughout the course of the Brexit transition. 

Stone King are one of the UK’s oldest established firms, dating back to 1785. With offices in Bath, Birmingham, Bristol, Cambridge, Leeds and London, the firm has grown without losing their client focused ethos.  

Firstly, anyone employing EU nationals should be aware of their right to work in the UK. Come 2021, the process of having the right to work in the UK will be changing to coincide with freedom of movement laws and working laws. EU nationals coming to live and work in the UK will be required to get a visa beforehand. There will be the option to apply for a skilled worker visa but as a business owner, you will need to be an approved employer sponsor. This application costs £536 for small to medium businesses or charities. The sponsorship certificates themselves cost £199 per person being sponsored. 

If you’re not already approved, this is something you should consider over the next coming months. If you’re approved, make sure to check the validity of your license as they expire every four years. For an European national who is already in the UK, they will be able to stay provided they register for the settlement scheme. The deadline for this is July 2021. 

From a compliance perspective, it’s crucial employers and employees stay on top of things. Immigration laws change regularly and it’s important things don’t fall through the cracks. 

A huge thank you to Craig and Julia for a very informative session. If you have any questions going forward, you can find Craig’s details on his partner profile.

Once again, thank you to all that attended the meeting. We’re hoping that in the next coming months, we’ll be able to welcome you back to The Northern HQ for meetings face to face. However, we’ve decided to keep going with the virtual format as well. If all goes to plan, we will hopefully be able to stream the meeting to you live. In terms of our next meeting, we’re finalising a date in September so as not to interrupt anyone’s bank holiday plans. We’ll let you know as soon as this is confirmed. 

Wishing you all a fantastic August. Enjoy the remainder of the summer and we’ll see you again soon.

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