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UK's exit from EU: information for staff

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  • Overview
  • Latest news for staff
  • Frequently asked questions
  • Useful websites
  • Overview

    This section is a rolling briefing to keep staff members informed of the issue. At the moment, it contains:

    • Latest news for staff
    • Frequently asked questions
    • Links to useful websites

    We will update this section as soon as more information becomes available. Research staff looking for the latest information on the impact of Brexit on Horizon 2020 can find more information on the Research & Enterprises website.

    Last updated: 14 December 2018

    Latest news for staff

    To make it easier to stay up to date, here you will find links to the latest EU news-stories published on the staff portal:

    Last updated: 14 December 2018

    Frequently asked questions

    What does triggering Article 50 by the government mean?

    Invoking Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty means that the United Kingdom is now committed to leaving the European Union. The exact timetable of this exit will be negotiated between the two sides, but the UK will be expected to have left by the summer of 2019. The Department for Exiting the European Union will oversee negotiations on behalf of the UK government, while four EU institutions – the European Council, the Council of the EU, the European Commission and the European Parliament – are likely to play a significant role in the negotiations.

    What does this mean for staff from EU countries who work and live in the UK?

    The UK currently remains a full member of the EU and at this point, there is no change to visa requirements, immigration status or, contractual terms and conditions. Currently, EEA nationals who have been living and working in Britain for at least five years can apply for a document certifying permanent residence. Family members of EEA citizens living in the UK can also apply if they meet the relevant requirements as set out on the UKVI website

    Where can I find more information about this?

    In February 2017, we invited Alex Russell – an immigration expert from the law firm, Mills & Reeve – to present several information sessions to non-UK EU colleagues who may be affected by Brexit. The sessions had a practical focus with detailed information on the process involved in attaining permanent resident status and the application procedure for those wishing to become British citizens.

    Video recording of the information sessions with Alex Russell, included questions from attendees, are also available. You can view the session on Permanent Residence and on Naturalisation.

    If you are considering applying for British citizenship, both Reading and Wokingham Borough Councils are offering a checking service to assist with the process.

    Who can I speak to for advice?

    For any employment status related questions, please speak to your line manager or HR Business Partner.

    Any research grant or funding queries can be directed to Anne-Marie Van Dodeweerd

    The University also offers a 24x7 Employee Assistance Programme, Confidential Care, which provides independent and confidential support on a range of issues.

    What is the University doing to keep staff informed of the developments?

    We will provide updates to staff and students when the government and EU make decisions relevant to the EU nationals.

    Will you continue to recruit EU nationals from within the UK and outside?

    Yes. We welcome applications from EU nationals and will continue to do so. The UK government has confirmed that there has been no change to the rights and status of EU nationals in the UK as a result of the referendum, and that it 'recognises and values the important contribution made by EU and other non-UK citizens who work, study and live in the UK'. The UK remains a member of the EU for the time being and the government has confirmed that there will be no immediate changes to UK visa policies for university staff currently in or contemplating coming to, the UK from the EU.

    Will contractual terms and conditions change for EU nationals working at the University?

    No. Your University of Reading contractual terms and conditions are unchanged and will be honoured, subject to future decisions by the UK government on visa requirements and immigration status. We will update you as soon as we are advised by the UK government of any changes.

    Does it affect the pension in any way?

    The University of Reading Pension Scheme (URPS) is a defined contribution arrangement and market volatility following the EU referendum may have some short-term impact on your fund, particularly if you are close to retirement. In these circumstances, you may wish to review any decisions made and consider taking independent financial advice. For members of the USS and the UREPF, which are both defined benefit schemes, your basic retirement benefits are guaranteed; however, if you are close to retirement and perhaps considering whether or how to invest any lump sum payment then you may also wish to take some specific financial advice.

    Will UK university staff still be able to work abroad on University business?

    Yes, there is absolutely no change to the UK nationals’ right to travel or work in EU member states. The University will continue to provide full professional support to any staff travelling or working abroad.

    Future visa requirements to work within the EU are subject to decisions in due course by the UK government and EU member states. We will update you as soon as we are advised by the UK government of any changes.

    What advice can staff give EU national students?

    The EU referendum outcome and the triggering of Article 50 will not lead to any immediate change to the immigration status of current EU students. All UK nations (England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland) have also confirmed in separate statements that current university students from the EU and those applying to courses starting in 2017–18 will not see any changes to their loan eligibility or fee status. This guarantee will apply for the full duration of the course, even if the course finishes after the UK has left the EU.

    Universities Minister Jo Johnson said in December 2016 that EU nationals starting courses in the next academic year (2017-18) will continue to be eligible for Research Council PhD studentships to help fund their studies for the full duration of their course. This will be the case even if the course finishes after the UK has left the European Union.

    What about students participating in the Erasmus+ exchange programme?

    Students from UK universities currently participating in Erasmus+, including those taking part this academic year, will not be affected by the referendum result or the triggering of Article 50. The European Commission has confirmed that EU law continues to apply to the full in the UK until it is no longer a member. This therefore also applies to the projects financed through the Erasmus+ programme. The UK is not expected to leave the EU until 2019.

    Useful websites

    The following websites give the most up-to-date information for international staff:

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