The CPA (Construction Plant-hire Association) is urging its members and organisations in the wider construction sector to get ready for Brexit.
With the UK due to leave the EU in less than four weeks, on 29 March 2019, businesses need to consider contingency plans, be aware of potential delays in the construction supply chain and help their EU staff accordingly.
Kevin Minton, Chief Executive of the CPA, said, “The prospect of a no deal Brexit remains real and we urge our members to consider contingency planning and risk assessment around the impact this could potentially have.”
He warned of potential delays caused by customer checks on imports from the EU, which could in turn impact work schedules.
Minton went on to say, “In such a period of uncertainty, open dialogue and communication are absolutely critical at all levels of projects between contractors, sub-contractors, suppliers and clients in order to identify potential delays and issues that might not be immediately obvious.”
Of course, skilled labour is another concern, with the possibility that the skills shortage could be compounded by a no-deal Brexit.
“Companies should take every step to ensure their EU staff are aware of the steps they need to take to apply under the EU Settlement Scheme for both themselves and their families,” Minton said.
Under the current Withdrawal Agreement, EU staff and their family members who have lived in the UK for at least five years, up to and including 31st December 2020, are able to apply for UK Settled Status. Under the scheme, if they have been in the UK for less than five years, they can apply for Pre-Settled Status until they meet the full criteria. The scheme will open fully by 30th March 2019.
For further information about the Settlement Scheme, visit https://www.gov.uk/settled-status-eu-citizens-families
Employees do not have to apply for any of the schemes if they are Irish, or if they have indefinite leave to enter the UK or indefinite leave to remain in the UK.