From education to employment

Union calls on employers to pay settlement fee for EU staff

Employers should cover the fee for their EU staff applying to receive settled status, the University and College Union (UCU) urged today (Thursday).

From today, EU citizens working in universities across the UK will be able to apply for settled status as part of the EU Settlement Scheme pilot. The scheme is open to UK higher education staff with an EU passport or, if they are the non-EU family members of EU citizens, a biometric residence card.

Some employers including the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine have already said that they will cover the £65 application fee for staff who wish to apply for settled status. The union said that, in light of continued uncertainty over the Brexit deal, it was vital that all institutions show support for their EU staff.

UCU head of policy and campaigns, Matt Waddup, said: ‘The UK government has created an environment in which EU nationals feel unwelcome and unwanted. Yet the success of our society and economy depend on the UK being open, not closed.

‘While this scheme is far from perfect, it is understandable that staff are seeking security by registering. To show support for their EU staff employers should cover the resettlement fee. Failure to do so would send a negative message to staff at what is a hugely worrying time for EU nationals and their families.’

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