Brexit: Deal vs No Deal

Table of contents

What it means for UK citizens Living in the EU and Vice Versa

For the past two years the United Kingdom and the European Union have been in discussions on the Withdrawal Agreement. Because the UK has been part of the EU, employment laws between the two have become intertwined. With Brexit decisions finalizing in the next few weeks, many are concerned about what employment laws will unravel with Brexit and what implications it may have on employees and employers.

A deal would allow for the 1.3m UK-born people who reside in the EU27 and the 3.2m EU27 nationals living in the UK to keep their current freedoms until the end of the transition period 31 December 2020. However, a no deal withdrawal is still looming and that could mean major changes for UK and EU citizens living and working in their non-respected countries.


Deal – Visa free travel for short term visits will be allowed if both sides reciprocate.

No Deal – All UK citizens would be treated as any other citizen of a “third country” and must abide by such laws.


Deal – Current freedoms will remain in place until the end of the transition period.

No Deal – Will hinder mobility of UK citizens working in multiple countries. It is also causing damage to UK citizens seeking employment, as EU employers are hesitant to hire for jobs that require EU travel.


Deal – The current reciprocal health care will remain the same.

No Deal – Will put an end to the binding health care shared by the EU and UK and could cause insurance premiums of UK citizens to rise. UK citizens will also lose their European Health Insurance Card which will end their health coverage in EU countries.

Social Security/Pension

Deal – Social security and pension to a UK citizen living in the EU will depend on the specific terms and agreements each individual country has with the UK. Now only an application is needed, and a relevant agency will contact the EU state to acquire contributions made to put as part of the individuals pension plan.

No Deal – The mutual exchange will end, and tax-free transfers of pensions might change as well.

Brexit and Employment Rights

What will ultimately affect employment law will be if the law has been derived from UK law or EU law. That means EU laws that are already based on UK laws will stay the same, but UK laws that are based of EU laws have a possibility to be changed once Brexit takes place. Much of this also dependent on UK requirements to the EU and what type of relationship they wish to have in the future.

UK Based Employment Rights that Brexit Will Not Impact

  • Unfair Dismissal
  • Minimum Wage
  • Unauthorised deductions from wages
  • Statutory Redundancy Pay
  • Paternity Leave/Shared Paternal Leave

EU Based Employment Rights that Might Impact the UK

  • Pregnancy and Maternity – The potential of removing unused maternity leave days to carry over to the next year.
  • Parental Leave – EU based law that will most likely not be changed.
  • Working Times – Possible changes to the 48-hour work week, and on call and travelling time going towards working time.
  • Holidays and Paid Leave – Holiday wont change, but the removal of unused days carrying over is likely.
  • Fix term Employees/Part Time Workers – Could be changed by those in favour of a more flexible labour market.

Key Upcoming Dates

  • 3 April: Potentially another round of so-called “indicative votes”
  •  10 April: Emergency summit of EU leaders to consider any UK request for further extension
  • 12 April: Brexit day, if UK does not seek/EU does not grant further delay
  • 23-26 May: European Parliamentary elections

For a general guide see our payroll and benefits countrypedia for the U.K, companies looking to hire in the without an entity visit our UK PEO service.