Islington Council pledges to pay ‘settled status’ fees for all its EU employees
- Credit: Archant
Islington has became “the first council in the country” to pledge it will reimburse all its EU national workers who successfully register their right to remain in the UK after Brexit.
Council leader Richard Watts announced an £80,000 kitty to pay back employees who achieve “settled status”, enabling them to continue living and working in the UK beyond Brexit.
It costs EU citizens £65 per person to register for settled status with the Home Office and Islington estimates there are 1,250 people in its direct employment eligible to apply.
They include staff on temporary contracts lasting longer than 12 months, but not contractors.
Islington’s finance boss Cllr Andy Hull yesterday told the Gazette: “We think we are the first council in the country to announce this.”
You may also want to watch:
“EU staff are critical to Islington Council,” added Islington’s leader Cllr Richard Watts.
“They are fundamental in delivering that thousands of residents rely on – we can’t do without them and it’s important to show that.”
- 1 Flooding recovery begins after evening of chaos
- 2 'Extreme' noise complaint as 150 gather for Islington party
- 3 Statue of Philip Noel-Baker replaced in Islington after 35 years
- 4 Meet the owner of the Camden Passage shop window where nothing is for sale
- 5 Upcoming Hackney and Islington road and rail disruptions
- 6 New Lidl to open in Finsbury Park's Arts Building next week
- 7 'We can do better': Islington Society calls for rethink on Barnard Park plans
- 8 Elderly woman robbed of precious watch in daylight Finsbury Park incident
- 9 Mum-of-two 'loses everything' in Islington fire
- 10 Two men jailed for life after double murder
The leader of Islington Council added: “We think the government was incredibly bad to use them as negotiating pawns. [...]
“This is what we can do to send the message they are valued.”
He added that it will “probably” also save Islington money in the long-term because an exodus of EU staff would mean recruiting swaths of new employees.
Such a scenario could also see the council turn to more costly agency staff to fill the short-term void.
The commitment was put forward in Isilngton’s budget proposals for the next three years, published this week.
To become official council policy, the plan must be approved at a meeting of the executive next Friday before being debated at full council, where the Labour group holds 47 out of 48 seats, on February 28.
The UK government this week announced the EU nationals among its 430,000 civil servants must pay their own fees.
The Scottish government, however, has promised to pay the settlement fees for all its public sector workers.
The EU Settlement scheme will open fully by March 30 and the deadline for applying is June 30, 2021.