Pubcos pledge to pay settled status application costs for EU staff

By Emily Hawkins contact

- Last updated on GMT

Settled status: Pubcos will cover the costs of their EU employees' applications to stay in the UK after Brexit
Settled status: Pubcos will cover the costs of their EU employees' applications to stay in the UK after Brexit

Related tags: Pub, brexit

Several pub groups will cover the administrative cost of ‘settled status’ applications for its workers who are EU nationals.

Millions of people will need to pay the £65 fee to apply to be allowed to stay in the UK indefinitely after Brexit.

Wandsworth-based chain Young’s confirmed to the Press Association that it was preparing itself to pay more than £100,000 to cover the fees of any worker wishing to stay in the country.

Chief executive officer of the chain, Patrick Dardis, said his firm would "do whatever we need to do to continue making staff feel welcome".

The company said it plans to open weekly clinics to help its staff members with the paperwork involved. It employs 1,800 people from non-UK EU countries.

Family funding

Oakman Inns has extended its funding offer to the family members of EU employees, it revealed in a trading update.

The company announced last year it would fund all applications for settled status and support employees with the process.

Oakman Inns chief executive and founder Peter Borg-Neal said the latest decision was inspired by a Government advert over the busy festive period.

He said: “Our mood over Christmas was only dampened by the rather crass television advert that the Government put out on 27 December reminding our EU colleagues that they will need to apply for permission to remain in their homes and places of work after Brexit.

“We thought the timing was poor with so many people in the hospitality, care and health sectors giving up their Christmas to look after others.

“In response to the advert we announced to our people on New Year’s Day that we will also extend the funding to family members.”

The pubcos join chain Fuller's, which is covering the application costs for any employee regardless of their length of service at the company. The company started paying the permanent residency costs for staff with one year's employment shortly after the 2016 referendum.

JD Wetherspoon is understood to be set to discuss the matter internally.

Italian restaurant chain Carluccio’s pledged to cover the cost of fees for its 1,550 staff who will be affected by Brexit.

New immigration policy 

Industry bodies have spoken out against the Government’s proposed post-Brexit migration policy​, warning it could have a devastating impact on hospitality businesses struggling to hire and retain staff.

UK Hospitality chief executive Kate Nicholls criticised the Prime Minister’s plan for an immigration salary threshold, calling it “fundamentally flawed” in December.

She added: “An immigration policy that recognises the contributions of migrants of all skill levels is one that works for Britain.”

Brigid Simmonds, chief executive of the British Beer & Pub Association, told The Morning Advertiser that the organisation would continue to work with the Government to make any new migration scheme work for the sector.

She said: “Brewers and pubs employ as much as 24% of their workforce from overseas, rising to 40% in metropolitan areas and in some roles, such as kitchen staff, up to 80%. Considering this and the decision to leave the EU, which has seen the number of EU workers in our sector already decline, it is no coincidence that some companies are paying for the settled status costs of their EU staff. Many are even helping their colleagues to apply. 

“Although the Immigration White Paper published by the Government in December was a more positive step forward for Britain’s beer and pub sector than anticipated, there are still major challenges that need to be addressed. This includes salary thresholds for Tier 2 and the Youth Mobility Scheme."

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