REC’s Ukraine hub
The situation in Ukraine has shaken us all. On this page you will find the latest resources aimed at supporting recruitment businesses and our wider community through this time.
Latest Government advice
- This page on gov.uk summarises the sanctions imposed by the UK government on Russia
- You can find information about the sanctions imposed on Belarus here
- You can use the Export Support Service if you have questions about how the sanctions may impact your business
- Ukraine travel advice is also regularly updated by the Foreign Office
Chief Executive of the Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority Elysia McCaffrey has outlined the authority’s commitment to support Ukrainian nationals arriving in the UK and delivers a warning to those seeking to profit from the current crisis by exploiting vulnerable workers.
The UK is moving as quickly as possible to ensure that those fleeing Ukraine can find safety in the UK through the Ukraine Family Scheme and Homes for Ukraine. In addition, the Ukraine Extension Scheme which opens on 3 May will allow Ukrainians already in the UK on temporary visas to extend their leave here. Ukrainian nationals and their family members, who are granted a visa under one of these routes, will be given three years’ leave in the UK, as well as full access to work, rent, study, and public funds. Please join officials from the Home Office, Department for Work and Pensions, Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, and the Refugee Employment Network for an explanatory webinar on visa routes for Ukrainian nationals, how to carry out right to work/rent checks, and support and guidance for employers and landlords. There will be further information on how employers can help Ukrainian nationals who decide to take up employment whilst in the UK.
- We continue to follow the news of the invasion in Ukraine with sadness and consternation and remain eager to support those affected by the conflict in any way we can. With that in mind, we hosted a webinar last week exploring possible immigration routes for those fleeing the conflict. We heard from Immigration Lawyers, Fragomen LLP. You can watch the recording here and download the slides here.
- The Homes for Ukraine scheme is now open for UK individuals, charities, community groups and businesses who want to support Ukrainians fleeing the war. Those interested can register here ahead of the launch on Friday, 18 March. Individual sponsors will be asked to provide rent-free accommodation for a minimum stay of 6 months. In return, they can receive £350 per month. Ukrainians arriving in the UK under this scheme will be granted 3 years leave to remain, with entitlement to work, and access benefits and public services.We will update this page when we hear more details about this scheme.
- British nationals and people of any nationality settled in the UK will be able to bring their immediate family from the Ukraine. Surprisingly, the number of applicants seem to remain extremely low considering the severity if the situation, which indicates that the current system isn’t fit for purpose. The REC, with other partners organisations, is pushing government for an agile and effective solution. Even more worrying, we are still waiting to hear more about the sponsored scheme for Ukrainians which was announced but it’s not open for application yet. Time is of essence in these matters as lives depend on it.
- Immigration lawyers Fragomen LLP have put together a sweep of resources which is extremely helpful. It explores possible routes for those wanting to leave both Ukraine and Russia, as well as their relatives and employers of individuals affected by the conflict. Fragoman also kindly prepared a template letter that members can send to their employees with further information. You can download the word doc and use it with your own letterhead.
- CIPD also published a guide with immigration tips for employers in supporting workers affected by the crisis.
Supporting Ukrainian Refugees in Education
How do families arriving from Ukraine apply for a school place and childcare? / Як родинам, що приїжджають з України, подавати заяви на отримання місць у школі та допомоги з оплати послуг з догляду за дитиною? - The Education Hub (blog.gov.uk)
- The UK Government has set up two schemes to support those fleeing the war, the Ukraine Family Scheme and Homes for Ukraine.
- All children and young people arriving under the Ukraine Family Scheme and Homes for Ukraine have the right to access state education whilst in the UK. Attending school is vital in helping children integrate into the communities in which they are living.
- Ukrainian parents will apply for a school place through the in-year admissions process. We have worked with DLUHC on developing a ‘welcome pack’ for Ukrainian migrants with details of the education offer and guidance on navigating the education system. General advice on school admissions can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/schools-admissions
- To support schools’ efforts, Oak National Academy have rolled out an auto-translate function across all 10,000 of its online lessons, meaning Ukrainian children can access education in their native language.
- We have ensured Ukrainians have access if they need it to the same childcare entitlements, as well as university and college courses as a UK citizen.
CBI briefings – the REC is a member of the CBI, as such our members can also benefit from their resources.
The National Cyber Security Centre has a number of useful resources for businesses of all sizes.
Supporting the people of Ukraine
- There are a number of organisations already doing great work that can help you and your teams co-ordinate finding work for refugees and people still in Ukraine, e.g.:
Further, and in response to feedback from members, the REC is calling on Home Office to reduce and remove visa restrictions on Ukrainians seeking refuge in the UK. Read UK government's latest position and CIPD have prepared this immigration guide for employers.
- We are members of the Professional & Business Services Council who have written to Home Office setting out our key asks.
Supporting your colleagues
- Members have told us how they are running support sessions for both Ukrainian and Russian nationals in their internal teams, as well as in their temp workforces, here in the UK - and how well these have been received. But the war is having a profound impact on all of us. Employee assistance programmes can be invaluable, as can a support network of mental health first aiders. If you’d like to know more about either of these areas, the REC has an offer for own staff and can share more details with members. Please contact Kate.firstname.lastname@example.org for information.
What are we doing at the REC?
- We continue to liaise with UK government to understand what further actions might be taken and how this will impact the UK economy, society and business. We will post updates on this page for members.
- As the UK member of the World Employment Confederation (WEC), the REC has good connections with our global recruitment colleagues. We are in close contact with WEC and our sister federations abroad to push for a collaborative and robust approach from the international community during this time. See WEC's statement here.
- We have been reaching out directly to those in our membership where we know they have operations in Russia and Ukraine, to understand how we can best support.
- REC staff are fundraising. Donations made by our team will be match funded by the REC.
Our work with the Refugee Employment Network
The REC is joining forces with the Refugee Employment Network (REN) to provide refugees the support they need to access the UK’s labour market.
This programme is now in a pilot phase and applies to refugees coming from all countries as long as they are eligible to work in the UK, including people from Ukraine.
After the pilot has been completed and assessed we will be asking for volunteers from our members to commit up to 12 hours over a two month period to support a refugee to find a job in the UK. There are refugees already on the waiting list so we anticipate that the pilot will start within a matter of weeks.
As this is a new support offer, REN intend to run a pilot for a cohort of up to around 20 participants; each of whom will be individually matched with a recruiter who will be able to support them with:
- Creating/editing CVs
- Writing cover letters and job applications
- Interview preparation
- Improving professional language skills
- Possible sector-specialist support
- Access to job-matching through the recruiter’s network of contacts and opportunities as appropriate
Please contact Ben Whitton, the REN Coordinator, at email@example.com if you are interested in taking part in this work in the future.
The Refugee Employment Network (REN) brings together non-profits, local authorities and businesses to ensure refugees in the UK have access to paid work or self-employment opportunities. Founded in 2019, they are the only national membership network in the UK exclusively focused on creating better opportunities for refugees across the UK. REN’s purpose is to strengthen the ecosystem of support services for refugees across the UK to help remove the financial, cultural and social barriers that prevent them from accessing employment opportunities.
How can we help you?
- The REC has good links into governments. If you have operations in Ukraine and / or Russia, please let us know how this is affecting your business and if there are particular asks you would like us to make to the UK government or other international governments via WEC, on behalf of your business operations. Get in touch - firstname.lastname@example.org
- Fundraising – we know a number of members are fundraising on behalf Ukraine. If we can help you raise the profile of your campaign, please contact email@example.com. We can only support fundraising that goes to official charities.
Updates and initiatives from REC members and business partners
- REC member Danny Brooks MBE of VHR is raising money for the British Red Cross Ukraine Crisis Appeal, who are working to deliver supplies across Ukraine. If you can, please donate and spread the word.
Our business partner Newland Chase has developed the Ukraine-Russia and Immigration: What You Need to Know resource center which contains links to two on-demand webinars, travel and immigration alerts including an in-depth analysis for the UK and EU, and a visa and immigration guide. The guide provides an overview of visa and immigration options for Ukrainian refugees – exit and entry requirements and remote work guidance for employers. It also includes visa and travel restrictions for Russian and Belarusian citizens. They also participated in Travel Management in a Time of Crisis webinar held by GBTA and following the webinar, Skift wrote this article Global Companies Still in Mad Dash to Pull Workers from Ukraine. Additionally, our employees are donating their time and expertise to help as well as our company making monetary donations. The full story is here.
Employing Ukrainian Refugees - what you need to know: our business partner Croner will be offering a series of guides to provide you with support and guidance if you're looking to provide work for Ukrainian refugees. Download Part One. Employing Ukrainian Refugees - Download Part Two.
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