Changes for UK employers sending workers to the EU, the EEA or Switzerland

29 September 2019

In the event the UK leaves the EU without an agreement, there may be changes for UK employers who have people working in the EU, the EEA or Switzerland.


Currently, the EU Social Security Coordination Regulations ensure employers and their workers only need to pay social security contributions (such as National Insurance contributions in the UK) in one country at a time. However, if we leave without an agreement, the coordination between the UK and the EU will end.


This will mean that your employees working in the EU, the EEA or Switzerland may need to make social security contributions in both the UK and the country in which they are working at the same time.


Businesses will need to do the following to prepare:


  • If your employee is currently working in the EU, the EEA or Switzerland and has a UK-issued A1/E101 form, they will continue to pay UK National Insurance contributions for the duration of the time shown on the form
  • However, if the end date on the form goes beyond Brexit day, you will need to contact the relevant EU / EEA or Swiss authority to confirm whether or not your employee needs to start paying social security contributions in that country from that date. The European Commission’s website will help you find the relevant country’s authority
  • If your employee is a UK or Irish national working in Ireland, their position will not change after Brexit, they are covered under the international agreement signed by the UK and Ireland in February 2019. You, as their employer, won’t need to take any action
  • A replacement for the A1/E101 form will be issued for new applications after Brexit. This ensures your employee continues to make UK National Insurance contributions to maintain their social security record. You can still use the same form on GOV.UK to make an application after the UK has left the EU

The UK Government is working to protect UK nationals by seeking reciprocal arrangements with the EU or the Member States to maintain existing social security coordination for a transitional period until 31 December 2020. Individuals in scope of these arrangements will only pay social security contributions in one country at a time.


You can find more information about sending workers to the EU, the EEA or Switzerland in a no-deal situation on GOV.UK.


This information was highlighted in the April 2019 EU Exit edition of the Employer Bulletin and also in the recently published Brexit Edition.


Both contain important information on a range of issues that businesses and citizens need to be aware of should the UK leave the EU without a deal.





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