Going to work in the UK? There’s a host of new rules about working abroad
The EU and the UK have signed a new Trade and Cooperation Agreement that took effect from the beginning of this year. The new rules are applied to people going to work in the UK after 1 January 2021. Read our answers to some of the most frequently asked questions by people heading to the UK.
Alongside the new Trade and Cooperation Agreement, the EU-UK Brexit Withdrawal Agreement and thereby current Social Security Regulations continue to remain in force. The question of which set of rules applies in each case depends in the last instance on whether your employment abroad has started last year or this year.
Given the intricate web of rules and agreements, the social security cover of people working abroad can be difficult to decipher. We hope that the following list of FAQs will help you find answers that apply to your own situation in the UK. Our customer service at the Finnish Centre for Pensions will be pleased to help with any other questions you may have.
Working in several EU countries and the UK
Question: I will be starting work in several EU countries on 1 January. I live in Finland and will also be working in the UK several times a year. Can I get an A1 certificate that covers working in the UK as well?
Answer: If you do a substantial part of your work in Finland or if you have just one Finnish employer, then you will be covered by Finnish social security legislation in accordance with the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement. As you are resident in Finland, you can apply for an A1 certificate from the Finnish Centre for Pensions. If you meet all the criteria to qualify, the certificate will cover all your work abroad, including the UK.
Posted in the UK
Question: I am going to be posted in the UK for two years starting in February 2021 and I would like to continue to be covered by Finnish social security. What do I need to do? Will Brexit affect my situation?
Answer: Your employer should apply to the Finnish Centre for Pensions to get you an A1 certificate. The certificate is proof that you are covered by Finnish social security while you are working in the UK. If February 2021 is the first time you are being posted in the UK and if you were not in a cross-border situation between the UK and EU over 1 January 2021, then the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement will be applied to your employment. Under the TCA rules, employees on a two-year posting can remain insured in their country of origin, in your case Finland.
Employed in the UK by a local employer
Question: I am going to work for a local employer in the UK, starting 1 April 2021. In other words, I am not a posted employee but have a two-year fixed-term contract with a local company and will only be working in the UK. How will this affect my social security?
Answer: According to the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement, you come under the social security of your country of employment. This means you will have to pay social security contributions to the UK and that your entitlement to social security benefits (including pensions) is subject to the laws of the country of employment. Therefore, as you will be working for a local employer in the UK, British social security legislation will be applied.
Posted civil servant in the UK
Question: I am a civil servant posted from Finland to the UK. My job in the UK starts on 1 March 2021 and will continue for three years. Am I still covered by Finnish social security? What about my family members?
Answer: Under the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement, civil servants are usually covered by the social security of their employer’s home country. In Finland, a civil servant is someone who holds a civil service post or who works for a publicly-funded employer. Your employer should apply to the Finnish Centre for Pensions to get you a certificate of Finnish social security cover. As a general rule, family members of a civil servant posted abroad are also covered, but the decision rests with the Social Insurance Institution (Kela) – so as far as family members are concerned you should contact Kela.
Grant recipient in the UK
Question: I have a grant awarded from Finland that expires at the end of 2021. I am going to the UK where I will be working on this grant. What does Brexit mean for my social security?
Answer: In order to be eligible for Finnish social security cover, you must apply for a certificate from the Finnish Centre for Pensions. Your certificate is proof that you are covered by Finnish social security while working in the UK. Grant recipients are generally subject to the same rules as self-employed persons. If you meet these rules, you can work temporarily in the UK until the end of 2021 and still be covered by Finnish social security. We have additional information for posted grant recipients.
Validity of A1 certificate issued before 1 January 2021
Question: I’ve been working in the UK since summer 2020 and my Finnish A1 certificate expires at the end of June 2021. What will happen to my certificate after Brexit?
Answer: Your A1 certificate will remain valid until the end of June 2021. Under the EU-UK Withdrawal Agreement A1 certificates will remain valid for their original period of validity, provided that you continue to work in the UK without interruption. In other words, there’s no need for you to do anything with regard to your A1 certificate.
Question: Our employee works in several EU countries and also travels to the UK every month. Do we need to prepare for any changes after Brexit? Our employee has an A1 certificate for several countries that is valid until the end of 2021.
Answer: The A1 certificate issued for your employee will remain valid until the end of 2021. Under the EU-UK Withdrawal Agreement A1 certificates continue to remain valid for their original period of validity as indicated on the certificate. At this stage there is no need for you to take any action with regard to your employee’s A1 certificate. The same applies to other countries: Brexit has no effect on the validity of the A1 certificate, which remains valid until the end of 2021.
Question: I have come to Finland from the UK in September 2018 and my A1 certificate is valid through to September 2021. Will I remain covered by UK social security despite Brexit, is my A1 certificate still valid?
Answer: Your A1 certificate will remain valid because under the UK-EU Withdrawal Agreement, all A1 certificates will continue to remain valid for their original period of validity. You can also contact the authority that has issued your British A1 certificate for more information about your social security rights.
Contact Finnish Centre for Pensions or Kela for more information
If you have any questions about Brexit, contact the Finnish Centre for Pension, Kela or the corresponding authorities in the UK.
For more information, go to the Finnish Centre for Pensions Brexit page