There are several things which will never be the same all around Europe, however we are going to focus on the consequences of Brexit to the recruitment process, job applicants and employers in the Czech Republic.
Recruitment process and employee cards
Not all foreign citizens have free access to the Czech Republic job market. If you work in recruitment you probably know you need to check what is the visa status of each job applicant. According to the Czech Ministry of Interior website there are several conditions which need to be met by a foreigner to gain free access to local job market. Free access to the job market of the Czech Republic is provided to a foreign national, who, for example:
- has obtained secondary or tertiary professional education or tertiary professional education at a conservatory or a university education in the CR, or
- wishes to be employed in the CR as a pedagogical worker or academic worker of a university or as a cleric of a church or religious society registered in the CR, or
- has been posted to the CR for provision of services by his or her foreign employer based in some other EU/EEA Member State or in Switzerland.
A foreign citizen has free access to the Czech job market in case that any of the above mentioned conditions is met. In that case, such a citizen is not obliged to have an employee card, which guarantees free access to the Czech job market to its holder. We are usually working with Czech university graduates, who are entitled to have free job market access and they can prove it by their university diploma.
Jobseekers and Brexit impact
What is going to be new for jobseekers as a result of Brexit? The Withdrawal Agreement between EU and United Kingdom includes two important periods:
- transitional period until 31st December 2020,
- period after 1st January 2021.
The EU rules and law were valid for employment of United Kingdom citizens until the end of the last year. That is no longer applicable because all the UK nationals become third country inhabitants according to the Czech visa rules and, consequently, the provisions guaranteeing free movement are not valid for them anymore. This applies to all UK citizens who were not working and living in the Czech Republic before the 1st January 2021. In case of interest in relocation to Czech Republic for the purpose of working and living here, UK citizens now have to go through the same visa process as any other non-EU citizen (except of European Economic Area and Switzerland citizens).
As long as a British citizen has been working and living in the Czech Republic before the end of transitional period (before 1st January 2021) his labor and residency rights remains the same. These citizens had the possibility to register voluntarily for temporary stay at Czech Ministry of Interior until the end of last year. All that was necessary was to provide a proof of residency, employment contract, a study certificate, or an apartment lease agreement. Application for this temporary stay status was voluntary, therefore we are going to see a lot of UK citizens who would have been entitled to have this temporary stay status, but didn´t apply for it. It should however still be possible to apply for it, as the Czech Ministry of Interior diagram shows.
Having the temporary stay status should not be a condition for getting new job. You can find more details in the methodological instruction of the Czech Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs.
Brexit impact on employers
All the recruiters and HR specialist will from now need to check on a per-case basis on what is the situation of a jobseeker from UK is and whether they falls under the conditions of the transitional period or not. Those, who will be able to submit a proof of previous employment or residency (e.g. apartment lease agreement, employment contract etc.) in the Czech Republic, will have the same rights in terms of access to the Czech job market. Those who will not be able to prove their work history in Czech Republic before 1st January 2021 will be treated as the third country residents who need to apply for an employment card.
The Brexit impact and changes for job seekers and employers are still fairly new. I would therefore recommend paying attention to these changes and discussing them with your colleagues, especially you are not the only one who is dealing with recruitment or HR agenda in your company. Do not hesitate to ask for advice your third-party recruiter. Recruitment professionals should know how to proceed and provide you with additional information you might need about employment of UK citizens after Brexit. You can avoid a lot of problems during your search for new employees that way.