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Brexit’s consequences for British employees, posted workers or business travellers in Poland.

As of 31 January 2020, the United Kingdom is no longer a member of the European Union and has since been recognised as a third country. This opened an 11-month transition period which will last until the end of 2020. This is the first case in which a country leaves the EU and has since led to many legal and practical dilemmas. As part of our #Brexit feature we present some of the main problems and explain the key issues concerning labour laws and workers’ rights.

Below are some of the ramifications caused by Brexit, concerning employment, posted workers and business travel for British citizens in Poland, during the transition period and thereafter.

  • The transition period

During this time the UK remains a part of the single market. EU laws still remain applicable to British citizens staying in other member states and the free flow of persons and goods is still possible. This means that they may still visit or stay in Poland for work purposes under the same rules as before.

This mean that entrepreneurs from Poland and the EU will not have to obtain, among others, visas or permits required for third country nationals. In addition, professional qualifications based on the system of mutual recognition in Member States, regulated under Directive 2005/36/EC, are still recognised. This states that EU citizens as well as certain citizens from other countries may apply for recognition of qualifications acquired in member states of the EU, EEA and Switzerland.

Where workers are posted to temporarily provide services, it is not required to meet any additional requirements beyond the current ones. Such is the case with the obligation to notify and to ensure minimal employment conditions under British regulations.

Business travel to Poland remains unchanged.

Persons wishing to reside in the UK during the transition period for, among others, work reasons may obtain a temporary resident permit which will be valid until the end of said period.

After the transition period

The exact rules for employment, posted workers and business travel to the UK  after this period still remain unclear. This period was established to negotiate future relations with the EU and to determine new conditions for mutual cooperation, which includes migration and employment. It is possible that these conditions will be more favourable in terms of employment and migration for UK citizens in the EU than for citizens of other non-member countries.

As of 2021, the rules of cooperation regarding  posting workers and business travel (including visas and residence and work permits),  will depend on the contents of a future Free Trade Agreement to be negotiated between the UK and the EU in transition period.

However, Polish and other EU citizens, simultaneously employed and settled in Great Britain, who want to stay in the country after the end of the transitional period, are required to submit an application for the status of a settled person by June 2021.

Magdalena Zgłobica