Employing UK Staff in the EU

If you work in the EU, the EEA or Switzerland, or have workers in any of those countries, you should know:

  • Free movement with the EU has ended on 31 December 2021.
  • Under the post-Brexit trade deal business mobility rights have been agreed, i.e. attending conferences, seminars, meetings for short-term stays, permitted for 90 days in any 180 day period. Intra-company transfers (with spouses and dependents), contract and self-employed working are also supported.  Workers will otherwise rely on the rules of individual member states for the right to work as the free movement of people ends.
  • Employees who are UK nationals should consider applying for residence schemes in their country of residence if they have not already. Many EU countries allow UK citizens already residing in them to continue to do so for a transitional period. Information about national arrangements is available on the European Commission, national authorities and UK Embassies’ websites.
  • Any new employees who are UK nationals travelling to Europe after 31 December 2020 will be considered third country nationals. They’ll need to get the right permits to enter, stay and work in that member state. Information about these permits is available from the relevant national authorities.
  • Contact the relevant EU social security institution to check if your employee needs to start paying social security contributions in that country. This may be in addition to paying in the UK.
  • Workers may need to exchange their UK driving licence for a local or international licence.
  • If you employ EU, EEA or Swiss citizens and they move to work in your EU office, this could affect their status under the EU Settlement Scheme.

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