Practical Changes Arising From Brexit For Students, Workers & Employers

Dylan Loughlin

The end of the Brexit Transition Period is upon us, but what does that actually mean and how will our daily and working lives change in 2021? Below is the most need to know info students, workers, businesses and other NI employers.

Professional Qualifications

There will be no automatic recognition of UK qualifications, from GCSE’s to Master’s Degrees, in EU26 countries. This is expected to be negotiated on in future on a profession by profession basis.

Irish Passport vs British Passport holders

Irish passport holders in the north are considered Irish citizens and will retain freedom of movement rights after January 1st. This means that they can live, work or study in an EU country for an unlimited period of time without the need for a visa or permit.

British passport holders in the north are considered British citizens and so alongside British Citizens in Great Britain, will require a visa to engage in paid work in an EU 26 country.

Social Security

In determining entitlement to a state pension or social security entitlements, British & Irish Citizens who work in the EU will be able to take into account relevant contributions paid and periods of work or residence in both the EU and UK.

Studying in the EU

We are delighted to say that NI students will retain access to the Erasmus program, which will be funded by the Irish Government. Erasmus is a European Union cultural exchange program where NI students can work or study at an EU institution or member state, fully funded as part of their home degree course.

Our director Dylan Loughlin was a recipient of an Erasmus grant which allowed him to study for a semester in Grenada, Spain as part of his BA in Spanish & French at QUB, Belfast.

EU26 Workers in NI

From July 1st 2021, EU citizens (other than Irish citizens) will no longer have the automatic right to live and work in the UK. We would advise EU26 citizens to apply for settled status within good time of this date.

NI Employers who wish to employ new EU workers after January 1st 2021 must apply for a sponsorship license. Again, we recommend that you apply for this license prior to any future recruitment processes.

Cross Border Workers

Of particular relevance to businesses operating in the border counties, If employees live in the Republic of Ireland, but work in Northern Ireland, they will require a Frontier Worker Permit from July 1st 2021.

There are protections in place for social security contributions for cross border workers and they will only need to pay contributions to one state.

We hope this review will be helpful in the short term, but in the longer term, it’s important that you know the full changes which will take place and how this may affect your rights or obligations.

Our “Brexit People Plan” provides a detailed guide on how your Employment Law Obligations will change and what you need to do about it.

Please contact us to request a digital copy or for any other Brexit Advice!