With new fees planned for European nationals who wish to continue to work in the UK after Brexit, an increasing number of employers who rely on international talent are promising to foot the bill.

The hospitality sector is particularly reliant on overseas talent and many employers don’t want to risk losing staff in whom they have already invested.  The latest employer to pledge to meet the cost of the £65 ‘settled status’ application fee is Black Sheep Coffee Company.

Black Sheep was founded by university friends Eirik Holth and Gabriel Shohet In 2013, who wanted to disrupt the established coffee market with a scalable specialty coffee concept. The company has been growing rapidly since, with 24 stores in London, Manchester and Manila (Philippines) and they have ambitious expansion plans for more stores, both in the UK and internationally. Half of their 220 employees are EU citizens.

The company said in a statement:

“We will be paying the £65 ‘settled status’ application fee for all of our team members who are EU citizens.

“Going forward we will be doing the same for everyone who joins Black Sheep Coffee while free movement of labour continues, because we think it’s the right thing to do. There are so many reasons why.

“We hire the best baristas in town and we really don’t mind where they’re from. We’re an inclusive and open company with big plans to grow.

“We welcome everyone at Black Sheep and we look after everyone in our family, half of which are EU citizens. We really appreciate the contribution they make to our business and we think it’s only right that we should pay for a status which they are already entitled to.

“Others have also announced that they’ll be offering this to their employees and we believe, as an industry, we can send an important message to EU citizens if more employers follow suit. To those who are here already, we really value what you do and we’d love you to stay. To those who are thinking of coming here, we’re open for business and we welcome you with open arms.”