The EU Settlement Scheme is live

The EU Settlement Scheme is fully open. Now is the time to support your EU nationals to ensure they get the status they need to stay in the UK after Brexit for as long as they wish.

The service has been designed to make it as simple as possible for EU citizens and their family members to apply. During the public test phase earlier this year, over 200,000 applications were received from citizens of all 27 EU countries:

  • 95% of applicants successfully used the mobile phone app to prove their identity remotely, most in under 10 minutes
  • 88% of applicants were able to have their UK residence automatically checked by providing their National Insurance number

Your EU employees can apply to the Settlement Scheme free of charge. Applicants only need to prove their identity, demonstrate their UK residence, and declare any criminal convictions. You can find full guidance for them at: There are Android and Apple apps for proving their identity. Or they can visit an identity scanner location to help them complete this part of the application process or post document for verification. The EU Settlement Resolution Centre is available to advise. Telephone: 0300 123 7379

Protecting your EU employees’ right to stay in the UK

While the UK’s exit date from the EU has now been delayed on a couple of occasions, with the earliest ‘No Deal’ date now on 31st October, the UK Government scheme for EU citizens and their families to apply for settled status in the UK beyond any Transition period has now fully opened for applications. The Scheme will be open for registrations until June 2021.

Details on how the Scheme operates can be found here and the employer toolkit to help provide applicants with information can be found here.

We have been sending you information about the Settlement Scheme for some time in our news resources. Please don’t hesitate to let us know if you and your employees need more support with the process.

RIABS contributions increase from 1st April

Due to the increasing cost of claims the trustees of the Racing Industry Accident Benefit Scheme (RIABS) have decided to raise the weekly contribution per employee from £5.24 to £6.00. As you know, the contribution is shared equally between employer and employee.

Although this is a sizeable increase, it should ensure that the scheme meets its obligations without having to review contributions again for some time. RIABS is managed by the NTF for the trustees; the weekly benefit is run as a mutual fund so surpluses are retained within the scheme to pay claims in future years.

Scheme for EU nationals to register settled status

If you have employees who are EU citizens (or you are an EU citizen), they will need to register for the Settlement Scheme to get either settled or pre-settled status. Ensure that they feel supported and can discuss any concerns they may have. If they have any queries then contact us or the employee could speak direct to NARS.

The scheme is free and simple to use via a brand new online application process. It enables EU citizens to protect the rights they currently have in the UK. Applicants will only need to prove their identity, demonstrate their UK residence, and declare any criminal convictions. The application process has been thoroughly tested since August 2018 and so far nearly 200,000 people have received status under the scheme.

Deal or no deal, EU citizens will have until at least 31 December 2020 to apply.

Employees will need to have a valid passport and valid ID.  We understand that some EU national passport renewals have very lengthy waiting times so it would be sensible to suggest to your EU employees that if they are considering a Settlement application they should check the status of their passport and the turnaround times for passport renewal for their country to avoid any last minute rush or delay.

Additional information or support about the EU Settlement Scheme is available from the EU Settlement Resolution Centre. The centre is open from Monday to Friday between 8am and 8pm, excluding public holidays, and on Saturday and Sunday between 9.30am and 4.30pm.

Telephone number from inside the UK: 0300 123 7379

2019 Lycetts Team Champion Award winners celebrated at Institute of Directors

Jedd O’Keeffe and Tom Dascombe were announced yesterday as the 2019 winners of the Lycetts Team Champion Award, which celebrates the British racehorse training yards with the highest standards of employee management.

The announcement was made at a ceremony at the Institute of Directors, Pall Mall, London, where the winning yards were presented with their trophy and awarded a £4,000 prize for each yard to benefit and support their teams. ITV Racing presenter Sally Ann Grassick hosted the ceremony.

Collecting the award for husband Jedd, Andrea O’Keeffe said “”Firstly it should be Jedd standing here but he has flu – the human version! – so he is really sorry he can’t be here.


“It means the absolute world but it’s really about these guys and the team that we have who are amazing. We love working with them, they just pull out all the stops in every respect. This whole process has been a really good thing for us to go through as a team. We can’t believe we’ve won and to hear the comments on the other yards you are sitting here thinking ‘there is no way we are going to win!’ because everyone is doing such amazing work in their yards too.”

Tom Dascombe, playing down his role in the nomination, said “”I think we have a good team spirit. It’s really all down to the team and nothing to do with me. This award is for the team and is not for me.”_I2I7438







The National Trainers Federation (NTF) and Lycetts Insurance Brokers created the Lycetts Team Champion Award to:

  • Deliver praise and a sense of achievement for the racehorse training yards with the highest standards of employee management
  • Showcase the positive results of developing a team that works well together
  • Spread the message about safe working practices
  • Improve recruitment and retention rates by promoting the most successful management practices and encouraging their wider adoption among racehorse trainers.

The assessment criteria for Lycetts Team Champion Award are based on The Winning Approach, a best practice standard developed for the NTF by consultants Sport and Beyond. They include effective recruitment and induction systems, a safe working environment, leadership, communication and management structures, developing staff to fulfil their potential, and rewarding achievement. Development of The Winning Approach and the award was funded with the help of The Racing Foundation.

Yogi Breisner, renowned for his stellar accomplishments as a competitor and team leader in the field of Three Day Eventing, chaired the judging panel and presented the prizes. Commenting on the judges’ experience of the awards and the assessment, Breisner said, “In this, the second year of the Lycetts Team Champion Award, it’s very encouraging to see how a lot of trainers have embraced the concept of the Award and have upped their game and improved from the already high standard that we saw last year.”

Rupert Arnold, Chief Executive of the NTF, said, “We received another very strong set of nomnations for this second edition of the Lycetts Team Champion Award. Congratulations to this year’s winners who set an amazing example but let’s remember that there are now 52 trainers (10% of all licensed yards) who are accredited with a star rating to show their business operates to a recognised best practice standard for staff management. ”


Notes for editors:


The short lists for the two categories were:

40+ horses Fewer than 40 horses
Andrew Balding Nick Alexander
Tom Dascombe Dan Kübler
Warren Greatrex Jedd O’Keeffe
Richard Hughes Richard Phillips

 Industry standard

A copy of The Winning Approach, the award nomination form and an explanation of the award can be found on the NTF website here. The Lycetts Team Champion Award promotes practices that are most closely aligned with strengthening the team ethos.



Lycetts Team Champion Award winners to be revealed on Thursday 28 February

With only a few days to go before the 2019 Lycetts Team Champion Award winners are announced on Thursday 28th February at the Institute of Directors, here is a glimpse of the eight shortlisted yards to have reached the final stage.

They are up for the chance to win £4000, courtesy of sponsors Lycetts, to be spent on items of their choice to support the team.

Sean Murray receives 2019 Toby Balding Award

The National Trainers Federation (NTF) is delighted to announce that Sean Murray is the 2019 recipient of the Toby Balding Award.

A presentation was made at the Lycetts Team Champion Award presentation on Thursday 28th February at the Institute of Directors in London.

The annual award, worth £4000, offers an exciting opportunity for ambitious employees in British racing yards to widen their knowledge and train to acquire new skills.


The NTF launched the award for racing staff in memory of the late Toby Balding, who as a trainer was dedicated to the support and development of young people in the horse racing industry. It is funded by the National Trainers Federation Charitable Trust (NTFCT) from a donation made by the Adrian Swire Charitable Trust in memory of Toby Balding and is presented to a member of racing staff who demonstrates a desire to further his or her career in the horseracing industry and to train for a higher-level qualification or undertake personal development training.

About Sean Murray

Sean Murray has worked his way up the career ladder beginning with weekend work for Peter Beaumont while still at school. He was in the first cohort of staff when David O’Meara started out on his training career, progressing to be head lad. He is now Assistant Trainer to Roger Fell at Arthington Barn.

“I have gained a vast amount of racing and equine knowledge working alongside many talented horse men and women” says Sean. “We have a variety of people from different backgrounds and levels of experience and I have a person-centred approach to their career development. I make sure we look at their individual strengths and qualities and I am positive about what can be done however inexperienced or anxious the person might be.

“I would like to use funds from this bursary to invest in more training such as Introduction to Management for the Racing Industry course and Level One NCFE Award in Mentoring. I am so grateful to the NTF Charitable Trust for enabling me to gain more training to further my career.”

Underlining the career progression that Sean Murray has made on his own initiative, Roger Fell commented,” Sean started his career at the British Racing School and has progressed through the ranks to his current position as Assistant Trainer. Sean is a key member of the training team here at Arthington Barn and has put in the hard yards working as a positive role model, putting in long hours to ensure we achieve the best results. This bursary has come at an important time in Sean’s career as it will allow him to fund his ongoing development, and will help him to achieve his ambition to become a licensed trainer.”

Notes to editors:

The Toby Balding Award offers an exciting opportunity for ambitious employees in British racing yards to widen their knowledge and train to acquire new skills. There is more about the award here.

The National Trainers Federation Charitable Trust aims to provide training for employees within the racing industry so they can develop their knowledge and skills. There is a special focus on training to enable those who meet with an accident or ill health to remain in the industry. Racing Welfare manages the applications on behalf of the NTFCT trustees.

For more information, please contact Rupert Arnold or Shelley Perham at the NTF.