On 24 December 2020, negotiations between the European Union and the United Kingdom lead to the conclusion of the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement (EU-UK TCA). The EU-UK TCA provisionally entered into force as of 1 January 2021 pending its full ratification by the EU parliament.
Hereafter we outline the most important Belgian consequences for Global mobility services.
- No work is permitted, and anyone wishing to work must obtain the relevant employment authorisation and visa before travelling. As an employer, you will need to ensure that you know where your employees are and that they have the right to reside and work in the countries they are in.
- The EU Regulation (EC) 883/2004, which coordinates the social security contributions across the EU, no longer applies. However, the Protocol to the EU-UK TCA states that persons to whom the Protocol applies will be subject to the legislation of one State only. In principle, the Protocol rules follow the principles of the EU Regulation (EC) 883/2004 with some deviations. For employment relationships that existed before 31 December 2020 and continue without interruption, the beneficiary status under the withdrawal agreement will remain valid, respecting and applying the rules under EC 883/2004.
- Free movement of persons no longer applies. Accordingly, EEA and Swiss nationals need to qualify for status under either the new Points-Based Immigration system or the EU Settlement Scheme. The deadline for applications to the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS) is 30 June 2021. However, it is recommended that eligible individuals apply as soon as possible to ensure they have the relevant documentation to show their residence in the UK.
- EEA and Swiss employees employed before 30 June 2021 can continue to evidence their right to work through the use of their passports or National ID cards. Alternatively, EEA and Swiss citizens who have status under the EU Settlement Scheme or under the Points-Based Immigration System may choose to evidence their right to work through the Home Office’s online verification system.
- There is a visit limit of 90 days in a 180 day period for short term visits between the UK and the EU. This will cover conferences, meetings, trade shows and customer and supplier negotiations.
For more information on the Brexit implications on other fields, we refer to following newsletter.
The EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement: relevant implications