Brexit – the latest guidance for employers

21 October 2019

21 October 2019 by Peter Abbott

Following this weekend's activities in Parliament who knows what will happen in the next chapter of the Brexit saga. With the deadline of the 31 Oct still looming it is worth remembering that HMRC have published Brexit editions of the Employer Bulletin that provides further information for employers on how they may prepare for Brexit, as well as providing the opportunity to sign up for notifications about further Brexit communications.

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

Current EU Social Security Coordination Regulations ensure that employers and their employees pay social security contributions in one country at a time, but, in the event that the UK leaves the EU without an agreement, this coordination would end and social security may become due in more than one country.

Businesses should be aware of the following scenarios to help prepare.

If your employee is currently working in the EU, EEA or Switzerland and has a valid UK issued A1/E101 portable document in place, they will continue to pay UK National Insurance contributions until the expiry date of the document. However, in the situation where the end date on the document goes beyond the date that the UK leaves the EU, you should contact the relevant EU/EEA or Swiss authority to confirm whether your employee will need to start paying social security contributions in the country they are working in from that date. You can find information on the relevant country’s authority on the European Commission’s website.

For employees who are UK or Irish nationals working in Ireland, HMRC confirmed that their position will not change after the UK leaves the EU, as they are covered under the international agreement signed in February 2019.

Any employees who start working in the EU, EEA and Switzerland after the UK leaves the EU, with no deal in place, will be required to apply for the ‘replacement’ to the A1/E101 document, so they may continue to make national insurance contributions and maintain their social security records.

The UK Government is seeking to reach reciprocal arrangements with the EU or Member States to maintain the existing social security coordination for a transitional period until 31 December 2020 and ensure that individuals sent to work in the EU or Member States will only pay social security in one country at a time, in a no deal scenario.

Grants for businesses completing customs declarations

To help ensure that trade with the EU continues as smoothly as possible after Brexit on 31 October, up to £16 million in new government funding has been made available by way of grants. These are available to help businesses train staff in making customs declarations, now or in the future, and to help businesses who support others who trade goods to invest in IT. Businesses based in, or with a branch in, the UK can apply for funding ahead of the UK leaving the EU and you may refer to HMRC guidance to understand how to apply and make the most of this money.

HMRC Brexit Communications

HMRC continue to provide guidance and support to help businesses prepare for the UK leaving the EU and you can sign up for HMRC’s Brexit alert service. In particular, if your business is involved in the movement of goods between the EU and the UK, you may register here to attend one of HMRC’s Brexit webinars.

Contact us

For further information on global mobility issues, speak to Peter Abbott, who heads up our Global Mobility team within Human Capital Advisory

If you need advice regardng your Brexit plans get in contact at +44 (0)20 7429 4135 or by email at

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