skip to content

No-Deal Brexit FAQ for Departmental Administrators and Managers 

The following FAQ provides practical advice and guidance on recruitment and right to work issues for departmental administrators and managers, which may arise as the result of a 'no-deal' Brexit.

Note: This guidance is only applicable in the event of a 'no-deal'


Q. I currently have a vacancy that is live (or due to go live). Can I continue to advertise?

Yes. In the event of a ‘no deal’ Brexit, recruitment can continue to take place in the way that it was planned.

Q. Can I still accept applications from people applying from a country within the European Union (EU)?

Yes. In the event of a ‘no deal’ Brexit, citizens from the EU, European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland who are already in the UK (prior to exit date) are still able to apply for positions at the University.

Those who are not resident in the UK before exit date will still be able to apply for positions, but should also be aware of the ‘European Temporary Leave to Remain’ status which will be implemented by the UK government in the event of a ‘no deal’. See below for further details.

Q. Can I still accept applications from people applying from a country outside the European Union (EU)?

Yes. In the event of a ‘no deal’ Brexit, applicants from countries that are outside the European Union will still be able to apply for positions at the University of Cambridge and the process will remain the same as it was before exit date.

Q. Will I need to meet the requirements of the Resident Labour Market Test (RLMT) to appoint applicants from the EU?

No. The RLMT is not currently required to appoint new staff members from within the EU and it is not expected that this will become a requirement in the event of a ‘no deal’ Brexit.

However, for positions where it is likely that the successful applicant will be from outside the EU/EEA, you would still need to ensure that you have met the RLMT requirements in order to obtain a Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS), should the candidate require a Tier 2 visa.

Q. What is ‘European Temporary Leave to Remain’ and who needs to apply?

European Temporary Leave to Remain will only come into effect if there is a ‘no deal’ and would only be applicable to EU/EEA and Swiss nationals who are entering the UK for the very first time​.

In the event of a no-deal Brexit, European Temporary Leave to Remain (Euro LTR) will allow EU nationals arriving in the UK for the very first time after 31 October 2019 to live, work and study in the UK. Further details are available here:

You will need to apply if you:

  • are an EU national (with the exception of Irish nationals); and
  • arrive in the UK after the UK leaves the EU; and
  • want to stay in the UK beyond 31 December 2020 for any reason.

EU nationals who are granted Euro LTR will be able to stay in the UK for 36 months from the date of their application. European Temporary Leave to Remain will be a temporary, non-extendable immigration status.

Upon expiry of their Euro LTR, EU nationals would be required to apply for an immigration status under the new immigration system, which will come into effect from 1 January 2021. Time spent on Euro LTR will count toward settlement under the terms of the new immigration system.

Q. What is the application process for temporary leave to remain?

The Home Office has stated: “Applications will involve a simple online process and identity, security and criminality checks.”

All applications will be free of charge.

This status will only be introduced in the event of a no deal.

Q. What will be the impact on travelling to and from the EU for appointing body members?

In the event of a ‘no deal’ Brexit, airlines wishing to operate flights between the UK and the EU would have to seek individual permissions to operate from the respective states (whether that is the UK or an EU country).

In this scenario, the UK would envisage granting permission to EU airlines to continue to operate and would expect the EU to reciprocate in turn. If such permissions were not granted, there could be some disruption to some flights.

Q. I have a successful applicant who is due to start work after exit date? Should they start earlier?

For EU/EEA and Swiss applicants taking up a position at the University for the first time will be able to apply for pre-settled status provided they enter the UK before exit date.

In the event of a ‘no deal’ Brexit, applicants who enter the UK after this date would be required to apply for ‘European temporary leave to remain’ (details above). Therefore, it may be beneficial for applicants starting on or after exit date to enter the UK as soon as possible before this date in order for them to apply through an immigration route which gives more certainty.

However, any decisions taken to alter the start date should be in line with operational need and in agreement with the applicant.

Q. Will there be changes to checking right to work in the UK?

No. In the event of ‘no deal’, the government has confirmed that right to work checks will not change and existing procedures will therefore continue to apply, even for those arriving after exit date.

This means that EU/EEA and Swiss nationals will be able to continuing proving their right to work in the UK using only their passport or ID card until further notice.

There will be no requirement for EU/EEA and Swiss nationals to inform you, or evidence to you, that they have gained status either by way of the EU Settlement Status scheme or the European Temporary Leave to Remain process. The government have indicated that this will remain the case until at least 1 January 2021.

Q. Will I need to process additional pre-employment checks if I offer a position to an applicant from a country within the European Union?

No. There is currently no expectation that additional pre-employment checks will be required for applicants from the European Union. Evidence of right to work will still be required, as detailed above.

Q. Will there be any impact upon checking qualifications?

Yes. The Mutual Recognition of Professional Qualifications (MRPQ) Directive provides a reciprocal framework of rules which enables EEA and Swiss nationals to have their professional qualifications recognised in a state other than the one in which the qualification was obtained.

In the event of the UK leaving the EU with no deal, the MRPQ Directive will no longer apply to the UK and there will be no system of reciprocal recognition of professional qualifications between the remaining EEA states, Switzerland and the UK.
The UK will ensure that professionals arriving in the UK with EEA and Swiss qualifications after the exit date will have a means to seek recognition of their qualifications, and the government has indicated that a new system will be operational in the event of a ‘no deal’ Brexit.

Further details on the future arrangements in the event of a ‘no deal’ Brexit can be found in the government’s technical notice.

Q. Will there be any changes to RAS or Web Recruitment in the event of a ‘no deal’ Brexit?

No. It is anticipated that there is no requirement to modify the RAS or Web Recruitment system to support recruitment processes if the UK was to leave the EU without a deal.

Q. Will there be any implications for data protection in the event of a no-deal Brexit?

No. The rules governing the collection and use of personal data are currently set at EU-level by the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). In the UK, the Data Protection Act 2018, alongside the GDPR, provides a comprehensive data protection framework. In the event of a no-deal Brexit, there would be no immediate change in the UK’s own data protection standards. This is because the Data Protection Act 2018 would remain in place and the EU Withdrawal Act would incorporate the GDPR into UK law to sit alongside it.

Therefore, existing data protection processes and procedures that are in place at the University will continue to apply after exit date.