Fred Sirieix grapples with government’s EU Settlement Scheme

By James McAllister

- Last updated on GMT

Fred Sirieix grapples with government’s EU Settlement Scheme

Related tags: Fred Sirieix, Eu, Uk government, brexit

Fred Sirieix is the latest industry figure to have grappled with the Home Office after applying under the government’s EU Settlement Scheme.

Sirieix's case, which has since been resolved, saw the Galvin at Windows general manager’s application held up after he was asked to provide further proof he had lived in the UK for the past five years.

Taking to social media at the time, Sirieix wrote on Instagram,: “I’m disgusted. I supplied @ukhomeoffice all I was asked to provide including my NI number. Surely my records can be checked against it? I have been employed and in the UK continuously for 27 years, have ILR, my children are British, my daughter dives competitively for team GB. What more do they need?”

Many responded to Sirieix with messages of support including chef Claude Bosi, owner of the two Michelin-starred Claude Bosi at Bibendum in London, who said that the same thing had happened to him.

As part of the government’s post-Brexit plans, EU citizens must apply via the settlement scheme to continue living in the UK after 30 June 2021.

The Home Office has previously released a radio advert stating that all applicants need to do to apply is have their passport or ID card to hand and complete the online form.

However, the Advertising Standards Authority ruled the claim was misleading and the advert has since been banned.

This is not the first case of a high-profile European figure from within the industry facing troubles with the process.

Last week, chefs Richard Bertinet and Damian Wawrzyniak took to Twitter individually to express sadness and outrage after their own applications were denied​.

Speaking to BigHospitality​, Bertinet said he was angry and confused by the outcome.

“I think all hospitality employers should be making sure they make their staff aware of what could happen if they don’t apply under the scheme as the consequences could be chaotic,” he said.

Wawrzyniak’s case has since been resolved, however, commenting on Sirieix’s post, Bertinet added that he was still waiting for his case worker to call.

Responding to Bertinet’s case, a Home Office spokesperson told BigHospitality: ​“Automatic checks against government data are making it simple for many people to apply successfully and in 79% of concluded cases during testing, applicants did not need to provide any further evidence of residence. One million EU citizens and their families have been granted status so far and they have until at least December 2020 to make an application.”

Earlier this morning, Sirieix tweeted saying that his application has since been approved.

He wrote: “Good news! @ukhomeoffice both called and emailed me. They apologised for the mistake. As a permanent resident with ILR there was no need to apply in the first place. Still I have been granted #settledstatus with immediate effect.”

“As small as this may seem to some the whole thing was deeply upsetting and unsettling,” he added. “I could not find proofs of residency last night and woke up at 4am to check @ukhomeoffice website. After all these years in the UK it is so wrong to make people feel like second class citizens.”

BigHospitality ​has contacted the Home Office for comment.

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