Reassurance and support for Midcounties’ EU colleagues amid Brexit uncertainty

The society has offered to pay EU settlement scheme application fees for its colleagues

With the final outcome of Brexit still uncertain, Midcounties Co-operative is reassuring colleagues from the EU about their value to the organisation.

In a letter to EU colleagues on following vote in Parliament to reject Theresa May’s Brexit deal on 15 January, chief executive Phil Ponsonby said their current employment with the society would not be affected. He also confirmed that Midcounties would cover the cost of EU settlement scheme application fees.

The settlement scheme, run by the government, guarantees that EU citizens who are resident in the UK by 29 March 2019 will be able to stay and work in the country with protected rights regardless of the Brexit outcome. The scheme will be fully open by 30 March.

“As a colleague of the society, we will take steps to support you with this should you require help, including covering the cost of your application for settlement,” wrote Mr Ponsonby.

Midcounties currently employs 203 EU nationals – predominantly in Childcare – with each application expected to cost in the region of £65.

“As a leading co-operative, we believe that the commitment of all our colleagues, regardless of nationality, is vital to the success of the Society,” said Pete Westall, group general manager (colleague & co-operative services).

“We also believe in doing the right thing. The letter … sent to all our EU colleagues, hopefully demonstrates our commitment to them, as well as making an appropriate gesture with regards to the EU settlement scheme.”

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