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Working in another EU member state

UK citizens have the right to work in any European Economic Area (EEA) country. You can search for work using the jobs and skills search tool. If your employer sends you abroad to work you are a 'posted worker' - find out more about what this means.

Right to work in other EU member states

As a national of the European Union (EU) or Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein (EEA countries) you have the right to work in any other member state. You do not need a work permit. You will also have the same rights as nationals of your destination country in working conditions, pay and social security matters.

Finding work in other EU member states

If you are interested in finding work in another EU member state, you can search for a job using the Jobcentre Plus jobs search tool.

Information on working in Europe is available from the European jobs network EURES (the European Employment Services). You can also use the EURES website to register your CV or look for jobs.

Posted workers

If your employer temporarily transfers you from one EU member state you are entitled to work in to another you are a 'posted worker'. Your employment terms and conditions are protected.

Your employer might post you to another EU member state because, for example:

  • your employer has company offices in another country
  • you are transferred to an associate company or company controlled by your employer (called a subsidiary company) in another EU member state
  • your employer has a contract to fulfil or supply services in another EU member state
  • you work for an employment business that hires out labour to another EU member state, but continues to employ you directly

Protection for posted workers

Your employer must comply with basic employment terms and conditions in the country you have been posted to. If the country you have been posted to has, for example, a higher minimum wage, you become entitled to the minimum wage of that country.

Your employer is not prevented from offering you more favourable employment terms and conditions than the minimum provided by the country you have been posted to.
The terms and conditions that apply to posted workers are:

  • maximum work periods and minimum rest periods
  • minimum paid annual holidays
  • National Minimum Wage
  • health and safety at work
  • protection if you are pregnant or have just given birth
  • equal treatment between men and women and other provisions regarding non-discrimination

National collective agreements

It is also possible that your terms and conditions of work might be regulated by universally applicable national collective agreements. None are in force in the UK.

Tax and National Insurance provisions

Your tax and National Insurance provisions are not covered by the protections given to posted workers.

If you are working in the UK, you will need to register for tax purposes. If you have an E101 form from your normal country of employment it could mean that you can continue to pay social security contributions to your home country.

To find out more about the E101 form or tax and social security if you are posted from or to the UK you will need to contact HM Revenue & Customs. 

Where to get help

For more information on where to get help with employment issues visit the employment contacts page. If you are a member of a trade union, you can get help, advice and support from them.

If you would like advice on finding work abroad you can contact the Jobcentre Plus International Jobsearch Advice team.

Email the Jobcentre Plus International Jobsearch Advice team:

  • Source Direct Gov
  • Last Updated: 06 Jan 2012