Staff Updates

The Vice-Chancellor would like to reiterate how much the University values and understands the crucial role that you play in our University and the UK as a whole. The University will continue to press the government at every opportunity to resolve the situation at the earliest possibility. In the meantime, please make sure that you use the services of your human resources team (humanresources@exeter.ac.uk) if you have any concerns.

The University understands that it is a difficult time for you and your families, but please know that we are doing all we can to make sure that we get the right outcome for you all.

The government announced an agreement between the UK and the EU has been agreed regarding citizens' rights. EU nationals and their families that arrive during the implementation period from the 30 March 2019 to 31 December 2020 will be able to stay and work, but they must register if they wish to stay longer than 3 months.

For EU staff that are already living in the UK the government reiterated its commitment to making the process to apply for settled status straight forward and streamlined. The scheme is due to open later this year and we will keep you updated when we receive more information. Further information can be found on the government website and you can also sign up for the government email alerts.

The UK government annouced their proposals for those EU citizens and their families arriving during the implementation period. The proposal is that EU citizens arriving during the implementation period will have to register if they wish to stay longer than 3 months but that there will be no constraints on them studying or working in the UK. After a period of continuous and lawful residence for five years they will be able to apply for unlimited leave to remain in the UK. More information can be found on the government website. 

 

Dear Colleagues,

The University welcomes the progress in the negotiations for Britain’s exit from the European Union announced this morning. The agreement regarding Citizens’ Rights provides firm guarantees that our EU staff and their families will continue to be able to live and work in the UK after Brexit.

Colleagues will be aware of our concern that the proposals submitted by the UK Government earlier this year, while positive in some respects, fell short of the safeguards we thought were necessary to protect the interests of staff from EU countries who have come to live and work in the UK. We have been working with the Russell Group and Universities UK to influence the UK Government’s position and we are pleased that the agreement announced today addresses these concerns.

In particular:

  • The ‘Specified date’ for citizens’ rights will be the date of the UK’s withdrawal from the EU, rather than the earlier date when Article 50 was triggered. This later date ensures that new staff who join the University before the UK leaves the EU will be protected by the agreement. 
  • The commitment that the application system for EU citizens to obtain “settled status” will be smooth, streamlined and transparent, with 2 years after the date of withdrawal to submit applications.
  • Colleagues who have already obtained a document confirming permanent residence in the UK will be able to have that document converted into the new “settled status” document free of charge, subject only to verification of identity, a criminality and security check and confirmation of ongoing residence.
  • Recognising that the role and career path of academic colleagues in particular will often take them out of the UK for extended periods of time, the agreement helpfully sets a 5 year time limit (five consecutive years of absence) before acquired rights of permanent residency are lost. This will help ensure future academic collaboration with international partners is not undermined.
  • The agreement also addresses concerns which have been expressed about the rights of children which will provide greater assurance for families.

There is also a clear recognition of the need to give citizens as much certainty as possible and an undertaking that domestic legislation will now be enacted to implement the agreement. We will be encouraging the Government to put the terms of the agreement on citizens’ rights into UK law as soon as possible.

We recognise that there will be further negotiations in the new year which must be concluded before a final agreement is signed but today’s developments are an indication of the willingness and ability of all parties to reach a positive outcome. We will continue to work with the Russell Group and UUK to ensure the interests of UK higher education are taken into account in these future negotiations and will keep you informed of developments.

We are also pleased to advise our staff from EU countries that when the application process for settled status opens next year (the UK Government has said it expects to the new system to be open from September 2018), the University will meet the cost of applications for settled status. We hope that this will reassure our EU colleagues that they can continue to develop their careers at the University of Exeter with confidence. Further information about the application process and the support the University will provide will be made available in 2018 once this is announced by the UK Government.

Jacqui Marshall
Deputy Registrar and Director of People Services and Global Partnerships

For more information see the "What you need to know" and the case studies on the UK Government's Brexit website 

Today, the UK Government released further details  about how the settled status scheme will work for EU/EEA citizens who have lived and worked in the UK for 5 or more years. 

The new scheme will open before the UK leaves the EU and individuals will have approximately 2 years after the UK leave the EU to obtain the new status. 

The government have stated that the ncost will be no more than the cost of a British passport (currently £72.50).

Colleagues who already have confirmation of permanent residency will be able to exchange it for a settled status document card through a simple process, subject to ID verification, a security check and confirmation of ongoing residence. There will be a reduced fee for this.

The Government says that there will be a streamlined, user-friendly, digital application process which draws on existing government data in order to verify residence as a worker and minimise the burden of documentary evidence required to prove eligibility.

The current requirement for some EU/EEA citizens to provide evidence of comprehensive sickness insurance will be waived.

The Government confirms that there is no suggestion that those lawfully here will be required to leave on the day we exit the EU and that those currently resident will be given sufficient time after exit (expected to be 2 years) to make their application.

The document is intended to inform the ongoing negotiations with the European Commission so further changes may follow as the parties move towards an agreement.

Further details are contained in the technical guidance.

EU/EEA staff and family members are encouraged to sign up to the government alerts.

The Russell Group have published a briefing note on 3 August 2017 setting out areas where further clarity over the future rights of EU citizens after Brexit is needed.

The Universities UK  briefing paper “Policy priorities to support universities to thrive post-exit” sets out the priorities UUK feel the government should be looking at.

The government announced their proposal regarding the status of EU citizens in the UK post Brexit. The statement can be read here and further information is being updated on the government website, where you can also sign up for alert emails. There is also a shorter factsheet of their proposals. 

The University have drafted a summary of the government's proposal and FAQs.