The Brexit Agreement provides that employees are subject to mandatory social security insurance in only a single country | PRO HR June 2021


Both the EU and the UK completed all formalities related to Brexit. The final version of the Trade and Cooperation Agreement (Brexit Agreement) was published in the Official Journal of the EU and came into force on 1 May 2021. 

As in European coordinating regulations so in the Brexit Agreement, the rule is that the employee is subject to mandatory social security insurance in the country in which the work is performed.

However, the Brexit Agreement provides that it will be possible to obtain a certificate on social security (equivalent to A1) for a seconded employee if determined conditions are fulfilled. They concern, among others, the seconding employer, who should conduct normal operations in the sending country, in which the employee prior to the relocation should be included in this country’s social security, or the very term of secondment, which may not exceed 24 months.

The Brexit Agreement also provides the possibility of obtaining certificates for individuals working in several states (the so-called multi-state workers). The conditions set forth in the Agreement are very similar to those known from the European coordinating regulations. 

Unfortunately, in the Brexit Agreement there are no provisions regarding the exceptional mode known from European regulations, nor provisions of some bilateral agreements on social security. According to these provisions, two states may, upon mutual agreement and in the interest of some persons to some groups envisage additional exceptions from the above regulations. In practice this was a loophole for situations where obtaining A1 was justified and reasonable but, owing to specific facts, the provisions on secondment or work in other countries could not apply.

Does the lack of this possibility in the Brexit Agreement mean that it will only be possible to obtain a certificate on social security in those two specific situations? It seems so, although practice may develop otherwise – we will monitor it for you.

Find more in the PRO HR June 2021.