Brexit will inevitably result in the end of both the freedom of movement and the free provision of services for British workers coming to Europe for a job.
In the very-sort term, what will happen in case of a no-deal Brexit?
Brexit: what will the impact be on British nationals in France?
We see 4 immediate effects:
- Posting UK citizens to Europe will be impacted as it will no longer be possible to send them on the basis of the 883/2004 EU Regulation;
- UK employees or retirees already working/living in Europe might encounter changes in the access to social security and health care system;
- UK employees will have to check their situation regarding immigration to live and/or work in France. If no agreement is reached between the UK and the EU, French government has enacted provisions to secure the situation of British citizens already living in France (Decree of February 7, 2019). All their rights will be maintained until they have the appropriate residency permits during the “grace period” of maximum one year. British residents and their dependents having their residence in France will be exempted from the obligation of a long-term entry visa. Moreover, for British residents and dependents having more than 5-year residence in France, a ten-year residency card should be granted. Further details are to come. The situation of UK residents having less than 5-year residence in France will be examined on the available French residence permits basis and the conditions requirement will be lightened. These favorable and overriding rules will only be enforceable if French citizens benefit from a reciprocal treatment in the UK;
- UK nationals having no activity in France or retired in France will have their status assessed depending on the reciprocity granted to French citizens in the UK.
Brexit: what will the impact be on your European works council?
As the Brexit implementation date approaches (currently 31 October 2019), it is even more important that companies prepare for the impact of the UK's departure from the European Union.
European Works Councils (EWCs) will obviously be impacted. This is unavoidable, since an EWC must be set up in every company or group with more than 1,000 employees (including at least 150 in two different Member States) within the European Union or the European Economic Area (European directives 94/45/EC and 2009/38/EC). The impact of Brexit on existing EWCs will therefore depend on the terms of the UK's departure:
- In the case of a transition agreement, the rules in force will continue to apply until 31 December 2020.
- In the absence of a transition agreement, and if the United Kingdom does not join the European Economic Area, British employees will no longer be represented on EWCs from 31 October.
Companies and groups concerned must therefore act now to pre-empt such a scenario and review the functioning of their committee in order to anticipate any possible adaptations required, such as a change in central management and applicable law, information-consultation procedures on cross-border issues or abolishment of the body if no longer required.
It is therefore essential to check each EWC's operating agreement in preparation for the impact of Brexit, pending final determination of the fate of the European provisions in force.
Brexit: our lawyers support your business
Thanks to a multidisciplinary, tailored offer, our teams can support your adjustment to a hard Brexit and help you manage the challenges you face vis-à-vis the United Kingdom, against a changing and unstable backdrop.
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