Consultancy wins business immigration contract ahead of Jan 1 rule change

Express Bi-Folding Doors has appointed HR and employment law consultancy Howarths to provide specialist business immigration law support ahead of the introduction of the new points-based immigration system on January 1 2021.

The £28m turnover sliding and folding door manufacturer, which employs 230 people across its four UK showrooms and Leeds head office, has appointed West Yorkshire-based Howarths to support its strategic workforce planning in line with the introduction of the new system at the end of the Brexit transition period.

This will include conducting a workforce risk analysis to identify any key personnel or material numbers of employees who may require support or can no longer work remotely in the EU without immigration permission.

Charlotte Geesin, head of employment law and business immigration at Howarths, is leading the project alongside Express Bi-Folding Doors operations director, Chris Smith.

Geesin said: “Following the end of the Brexit transition period on December 31st, the UK will be subject to a new points-based immigration system that will see the most significant changes to the UK’s immigration system in almost five decades.

“It is therefore imperative employers of all sizes employing workers from overseas consider their talent and mobility plans to make sure they are fully prepared for restricted rights to work and changes to rules on business travel and social security.

“Workers from overseas contribute a wealth of skills and experience to the UK economy, but if a business is not approved to employ foreign workers or fails to follow the new rules around immigration compliance and rights to work, they could be at risk of legal action.

“This can be a particularly tricky area to navigate for SMEs and start-ups who will need to consider requirements such as having a sponsor license in place if they wish to employ non-UK workers.”

Smith said: “Twenty five percent of our skilled workforce is made up of people from overseas, and we have engaged Howarths to ensure there is a smooth transition around Brexit while protecting the business and our valuable employees.”