Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust is to cover the cost of the settled status application fees of all EU staff who want to stay in the UK after Brexit.
The Trust has also set up two workshops with specialist employment solicitors, to take place later in December 2018, to explain the settled status scheme and to answer any questions staff may have.
Neil Macdonald, Chief Executive, has written to all EU staff employed by BHT to let them know that the Trust will cover the costs of their applications for settled status to continue to live and work in the UK after Brexit.
Neil says: ‘EU staff form a vital part of our workforce – more than 8% of staff working for our Trust are EU nationals. We have successfully recruited from the EU for a number of years and have close links with universities in Portugal.
A significant number of our EU colleagues are nursing assistant practitioners, some of whom are preparing to take English exams to gain Nursing and Midwifery Council registration.
Whatever happens with regards to Brexit, we want all EU nationals currently working at BHT to stay with us and the Trust”s decision to cover the costs of the application fee for settled status is a symbol of our commitment to our valued colleagues.
The contribution of colleagues from around the world is one of the great strengths of the NHS and something we’re very proud of at BHT.‘
Settled status means there is no time limit on how long EU citizens, who have been living here continuously for five years, can remain in the UK. This is also known as indefinite leave to remain in the UK.
The Home Office is testing the EU Settlement Scheme through a series of pilots ahead of the public launch on Saturday 30th March 2019. The second phase of the pilot, which runs until Saturday 21st December 2019, includes NHS staff.
This pilot is testing the application process that EU citizens and their family members will use when the scheme opens fully in 2019. Feedback will be used to make improvements to the process before the EU Settlement Scheme fully launches to the public.
In advance of the UK’s planned exit from the EU on Friday 29th March 2019, the UK government has committed to protect the rights of EU citizens and their family members currently living in the UK. This includes the right to live here, work here, and access public services such as healthcare and benefits.