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UK's exit from EU: information for staff

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The European Union has extended the deadline for UK's withdrawal until 31 October 2019. This page will be updated as more details become available.

As an institution, we are committed to securing the best outcomes for our staff and students. Vincenzo Raimo, our Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Global Engagement, has published an open letter about how we are working to secure the best outcome for our students and staff.

Research colleagues looking for the latest information on the impact of Brexit on Horizon 2020 can find more information on the Research & Enterprises website.

Students can find information on the UK's exit from the European Union on Essentials.

The UK Government's advice to its nationals travelling to the EU here.

Universities UK has published guidance on the implications of a 'no deal' Brexit for universities, which can be accessed here.

Last updated: 12 April 2019

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:

Frequently asked questions

Will EU/EEA staff be able to work at UK universities?

If the UK leaves the EU with a deal, EU nationals who already live in the UK, or who arrive by 31 December 2020, will be able to apply for either settled status or pre-settled status. This will enable EU nationals having lived continuously in the UK for at least five years to live and work in the UK for as long as they like.

What is the immigration status of staff?

EU nationals having lived in the UK for less than five years will be able to apply for pre-settled status, which will allow them to meet the five-year residency requirement needed to apply for settled status. A pilot of the scheme opened on 21 January 2019; those eligible can apply here. The Settlement Scheme will open fully on 30 March 2019 and the deadline for applications will be 30 June 2021. 

If the UK leaves without a deal, a Government policy paper on citizens' rights states that the EU Settlement Scheme will continue to be implemented, enabling EU citizens and their family members living in the UK by 29 March 2019 to secure their status and continue to be able to work, study, and access benefits and services in the UK on the same basis as they do now.

The scheme will fully open on 30 March. A pilot has been open since November 2018 allowing EU citizens and non-EU family members of EU citizens to apply and take part. Currently, an Android phone is required to apply (we have one each available with HR and Student Services if you do not have access to one personally), but this will change when the scheme opens fully as you will be able to send your identity document by post and also complete the application form online using any device (for example, an iPhone or laptop).

The EU Settlement Scheme will not apply to individuals arriving after 29 March 2019 if the UK leaves without a deal. Instead, EU and EEA individuals (including students) will be able to stay in the UK for up to three months, after which they will need to apply for European Temporary Leave to Remain.

The government has reached agreements with governments of EEA countries (Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein) and Switzerland about the rights of their citizens. These are broadly in line with those negotiated for EU students and citizens; EEA nationals will be able to guarantee their rights in the UK through the EU Settlement Scheme, once it opens fully on 30 March.

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

The University of Reading does not intend to impose any changes to employment contracts as a result of the UK’s exit from the EU. However, employment contracts are subject to the UK Government’s visa requirements and immigration status, as all employees must have the right to work in the UK. Based on the information available, we anticipate EU colleagues will be eligible to work in the UK and therefore there will be no change to their contracts of employment. If there are any changes to visa requirements and immigration status, we will advise our EU national colleagues accordingly.

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?

If the UK leaves the EU without a deal, there will be changes if you visit the EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland. It would mean that from 12 April 2019, the rules for passports, driving, EHIC cards and more would change. Check the Government’s Visit Europe after Brexit website if you need to act now to make sure you can travel as planned.

If the UK leaves the EU with a deal, there should be no immediate changes to travel, as it is anticipated that the rules will be the same until at least 2020.

The University currently has to comply with EU Procurement Regulations, will this remain the same following Brexit?

The latest EU rules are enshrined into UK law within the Public Contract regulations 2015 and therefore this might not be immediately affected by Brexit. If the UK leaves the EU with a deal, the public procurement regulations will remain unchanged during any implementation period. Notices for UK contract opportunities will still be accessed on the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU), Tenders Electronic Daily (TED). However,  if the UK leaves the EU with no deal, the way businesses access and respond to the UK public sector notices will change. A new UK specific e-Notification Service will replace OJEU TED and will be ready when the UK leaves the EU.

What has the University done with its suppliers to prepare for Brexit?

In order to respond to the exit from the EU, the Procurement Department has been identifying potential risks to its supply chain and mitigate the risks, and where appropriate maximise opportunities, that Brexit presents. The Procurement Department along with input from our stakeholders have written out to our top 100 suppliers and ones deemed to be business critical in respect of the delivery of services such as catering suppliers, to carry out a survey to understand what they are doing to prepare themselves for Brexit,  and what the potential risks are. We continue to review the responses and work with the suppliers. The impacts on our suppliers and their supply chains will depend on the deal we have but this could result in working with new suppliers, price increases or procuring new products or services. 

Useful websites

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

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