Care provider Morris Care has acted to help its employees from the European Union after recognising many were anxious about their future because of Brexit.
The family-run business arranged a series of workshops where staff were assisted to apply for their settlement or pre-settlement status which enables them to continue to live and work in the UK.
Morris Care also covered the costs of the application fees for all those involved. It was carried out as part of a Home Office pilot scheme aimed at healthcare professionals from the EU.
Chief Operating Officer Sue Austin said: “We value all our staff within Morris Care who are integral to us providing high quality and compassionate care for both the elderly and the growing numbers of people living with dementia.
“Some colleagues from the EU have been anxious about their future in the UK as Brexit approaches. We assured them that we want them to stay and gave practical help with the application process to enable them to do so.”
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. Those here for less than five years will need to apply for pre-settled status, with a view to obtaining settled status later.
Ana Maria Ghenea, originally from Romania and a Nursing Assistant at Radbrook Nursing Home said: “The workshop was very helpful and applying for early settlement status is such a relief. I don’t know anyone else in my situation who has been supported by their employers in this way. It also means I will be able to help my sister and husband with the process when they make their applications in March.”
The Home Office is testing the application process before the EU Settlement Scheme opens fully to the public on 30 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.