By Lyndsey Hall
With Brexit approaching on January 31st, the self employed Brits working in the EU, EEA or Switzerland have plenty to do to prepare for the UK’s departure from the European Union.
The Government has released some information on how the move may impact on you, and what you need to do before February 1st.
How will Brexit affect the self employed?
Brexit may result in fewer opportunities for the self employed due to travel restrictions and access to the single market. Until a deal is agreed, we won’t know how significant the disruption will be, but free movement and trade will likely be impacted by any possible agreement.
According to the government:
“In the event the UK leaves the EU without a deal, there may be changes for UK self-employed workers working in the EU, the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland.
Currently the EU Social Security Coordination Regulations ensure workers only need to pay social security contributions (such as National Insurance contributions in the UK) in one country at a time. However if we leave without a deal, the coordination between the UK and the EU will end.
This will mean self-employed workers may need to make social security contributions in both the UK and the EU, the EEA or Switzerland at the same time.
Self-employed workers need to do the following to prepare:
- if they are currently working in the EU, the EEA or Switzerland and have a UK-issued A1/E101 form, they will continue to pay UK National Insurance contributions for the period shown on the form;
- if the end date on the form goes beyond the day the UK leaves the EU, they will need to contact the relevant EU / EEA or Swiss authority to confirm whether or not they need to start paying social security contributions in that country from that date – the European Commission’s website will help them find the relevant country’s authority;
- if they are a UK or Irish national working in Ireland, their position will not change after Brexit as they will be covered under the international agreement signed by the UK and Ireland in February 2019 – they won’t need to take any action; and
- a replacement for the A1/E101 form will be issued for new applications after Brexit, this ensures they will continue to make UK National Insurance contributions to maintain their social security record – they can still use the same form on GOV.UK to make an application after Brexit.
The UK Government is working to protect UK nationals in the EU by reaching reciprocal arrangements with the EU or Member States to maintain existing social security coordination for a transitional period until 31 December 2020. Individuals in scope of these arrangements will only pay social security contributions in one country at a time.”
For more information on social security contributions for self employed workers after Brexit, visit the new webpage on GOV.UK.