The labour market is changing

The status of EEA nationals living in the UK and UK nationals living in Europe has changed, as have the rights of UK nationals to travel, live and work freely across the EU.

We have dedicated teams who can help you retain, attract and develop the people and skills you will need.

Our employment experts are available to answer your questions.

Did you know Brexit may affect...

  • Did you know Brexit may affect...

    Employing European nationals

    EEA nationals who arrived in the UK before 11pm on 31 December 2020 will have the right to remain under the Brexit transition rules. They can apply for Settled Status via the government website and they have until the 30 June 2021 to apply.

  • Did you know Brexit may affect...

    Recruiting from the EU

    Free movement of people for the UK has ended and the introduction of the new points-based immigration system means new barriers to recruiting EU nationals.

  • Did you know Brexit may affect...

    Working overseas

    The rules governing UK workers’ rights to work in each EU member state will be specific to each country. There may be visa requirements and temporary work permits needed for UK workers to take up international secondments in the EU/EEA. The UK government has issued country-by-country guidance, which includes information on areas such as social security and work permits.

UK government guidance

The rules governing travel to Europe will change

Things you need to consider going forwards

  • Things you need to consider going forwards

    Communicate clearly

    Ensure your employees in the UK are aware of their right to remain and apply before the deadline – and that UK nationals working in the EU are aware of the steps they need to take.

  • Things you need to consider going forwards

    Track your social security obligations for mobile workers

    It remains important for employers to track their mobile employees within the EU and ensure all required social security applications are made to the relevant authorities.

    For overseas assignments starting after 1 January 2021, your employees may be subject to the new ‘Detached Worker’ rules for social security purposes - a replacement for the EU ‘Posted Worker’ regulation and the A1 certificate. All EU countries are currently applying these detached worker regulations but they can each opt out at any time with just over a month’s notice. For employees going to/from Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Iceland, different rules will apply.

    Organisations will, therefore, need to consider the following to ensure that they remain compliant for social security:

    1 For overseas assignments or business trips that started prior to 31 December 2020, does the employee fall under the historic EU regulations?

    2 For new assignments, do they meet the conditions of the detached worker rules and is the host location still applying these rules? If not then what are the company’s overseas obligations?

    3 For frequent business travellers, and employees regularly working in more than two EU locations, which location should they be paying social security in?

  • Things you need to consider going forwards

    Upskill your current workforce

    In the medium term, if organisations can’t retain their workforce, especially if they have historically recruited a number of EU citizens, the amount of labour in the market could reduce. The employment market will become candidate-driven and employers will have to be offering something different to differentiate themselves in the market.

    Ensure that your workforce have the necessary skills to deal with future changes.

    • – Use your apprenticeship levy to re-train talent from different places
    • – Review your employee value proposition to ensure you are retaining the best talent
    • – Review your employer brand and recruitment strategy to ensure you are differentiating yourself in the market
    • – Review your reward and benefits approach to ensure you are attracting and retaining talent
  • Things you need to consider going forwards

    Review your current global mobility policy

    Is your current policy fit for purpose? Is it in need of a tune-up in light of Brexit and Covid-19? These events might mean changes to your social security and remote working provisions.

    Employers should be mindful that more employees may ask to work remotely from overseas. Accommodating these requests could result in unforeseen additional tax, payroll and social security obligations for individuals, plus tax and compliance risks for the organisation. Many global mobility policies were not designed to take account of these arrangements and should be redefined to manage these circumstances if they arise.


"Attracting and retaining the right talent has never been more important. As the employment market becomes candidate-driven you will have to be offering something different to differentiate yourselves in the market. With deep expertise, our people advisory team can help you develop a more agile and resilient workforce for continued business success."

Maddie Blanks, Associate Director

Our work with clients

Over the last three years we’ve worked with organisations of many sizes and sectors to help them prepare for political volatility.

Supporting through relocations

A financial services company was establishing a new entity in Ireland as part of their Brexit planning. Our global mobility solutions team assisted with the relocation of the CEO to the new Irish entity along with his family. Advice included UK and Irish tax residence review; UK and Irish payroll obligations for the company; tax treatment of relocation benefits; social security implications and filing obligations for company and employees.

Social security review for a major retailer

A retail client with outlets in the UK and across Europe needed advice on social security legislation. We reviewed the social security position of their cross-border worker population and the impact that a ‘No deal’ Brexit will have. We then worked with them to build a range of possible solutions to mitigate the potential risks. 

There's no one size fits all approach to Brexit. Speak to one of our experts for a response tailored to you.

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Navigating Brexit

Practical steps for business leaders

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