16 October 2018 - Reading time: 4 Minutes
If no agreement between the UK and the European Union is reached at the EU summit on 18 and 19 October, the transitional period that would have applied until the end of 2020 will expire. As a result, on 29 March 2019, the UK’s membership in the EU will end, and EU law will no longer apply. If your company employs people in or from the UK, this change could be far-reaching. So, take the bull by the horns and avoid unpleasant surprises caused by a ‘no deal’ scenario by making the right preparations.
In the following concrete example, we outline how much the situation will change in the case of a hard Brexit without a transitional period for international organisations.
Tom is a Belgian worker assigned to the UK for 12 months by his Belgian employer.
The Belgian social security system remains in place, allowing Tom to further build up his Belgian social security rights for, among other things, his pension, health insurance and unemployment. He doesn’t need a work permit and can move to the UK with a valid residence permit. Tom’s normal pay and working conditions apply there, unless they would be more favorable in the UK. His Belgian payroll structure will remain in place to handle his social security contributions and taxes.
During Tom’s foreign assignment, he is covered by the British social security system, which means that he will most likely have to pay and withhold British social security contributions from his salary. Even more, if his secondment lasts a maximum of 12 months, he will still pay social security contributions in Belgium if he chooses to do so. Since he can no longer invoke the ‘free movement of workers’ principle, he needs a UK work permit – and he will not automatically receive a valid residence permit. In principle, Tom will have to go through the full administrative merry-go-round. Also important: during his employment in the UK, British wage and employment conditions will apply. This means that Tom may lose his current pay and employment conditions. Finally, as an international employer, you will have to set up a payroll structure in the UK. If it is a short secondment, Tom may be listed on two payrolls.
Alex is a British employee assigned to work in Belgium for 12 months by his British employer.
The British social security system remains in place, meaning that Alex continues to build up his British pension rights during his secondment. He doesn’t need a work permit to work in Belgium and can move to Belgium with a valid residence permit. Alex is certain of his normal British wage and working conditions: unless they would be better in Belgium, British conditions would apply. Alex stays on the British payroll structure, which handles his social security contributions and British income taxes.
Alex could come under the jurisdiction of the Belgian social security system during his secondment. However, the British social security system may still also apply – leading him to pay social security contributions twice. He cannot transfer his accrued social security rights to another EU country – a problem for British nationals wishing to enjoy their pensions in the sunny south. Without the ‘free movement of workers’ principle, Alex must first apply for a work permit in Belgium. He can no longer just move here – doing so will require quite a bit of paperwork. Because Belgian wage and working conditions will apply during his temporary assignment in Belgium, he may lose his current British wage and working conditions. His employer may have to initiate a Belgian payroll structure for Alex, while he may also be simultaneously listed on the British payroll.
If no agreement is reached, the consequences of a hard Brexit for employers and their employees around the world could be challenging:
What will Brexit mean for the social security rights of UK nationals currently working in other EU states, and of nationals of the remaining 27 member states now in the UK? Will these cross-channel workers benefit, for example, from state pension contributions they made in the UK and vice versa if they return to their countries of origin?22 October 2019
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With the 25th May deadline only a month away, it is more important than ever for HR and payroll departments to ensure that they are GDPR compliant. If organisations are not compliant the penalties are significant, with fines of up to €20m or 4% of global revenue, and companies will undeniably suffer from significant brand damage.
So, what should HR and payroll teams do during the next month to ensure that they are compliant and ready by the deadline?9 April 2018
With just three months to go until the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) comes into force, the clock is ticking for HR and payroll managers to get the systems and processes in place to ensure compliance. The regulation, coming into effect on 25 May 2018, updates data rights for today’s networked world and organisations ignore it at their peril. A major infringement could cost a company up to 4% of its global revenue while there is a penalty of 2% of global revenue if records are not in order or a supervising authority and data subjects are not notified within 72 hours when personal data is exposed in a security breach.19 March 2018
Once GDPR takes effect on 25th May 2018, organisations that fail to process data correctly, report security breaches within a set time period, or comply with data regulations, will face fines and brand damage. These legislative changes emphasise how HR and payroll professionals need to be more security-conscious than ever before.14 March 2018
PAREXEL provides best practice examples to international organisations.
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One of the business areas most likely to be affected is international HR and payroll, so with that in mind, ‘Brexit and Business’ will be one of the key themes at our upcoming 2017 SD Worx European Conference. This year’s event will be bigger and better than ever before, taking place on the 8th February at London’s Hilton on Park Lane.