Brexit: social security situation for employees

02 Apr 2021


Dorothée David

A press release issued by the Ministry for Social Security on 25 March 2020 specifies that following the United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union, the rights of employees in terms of social security are now covered by:

According to the press release, the main provisions applicable to social security after Brexit are as follows:

This means that a Luxembourg employee covered by the United Kingdom’s social security system on 31.12.20 because they are working there, or a British employee covered by Luxembourg’s social security system on 31.12.20 because they are working there, continues to benefit from European rules applicable to social security, as long as they remain in this situation without interruption.

  • Workers who were in a cross-border situation between the European Union and the United Kingdom before 31.12.2020, but who ceased to be so on that date, “also enjoy protection”.

For example, a Luxembourg employee who worked in the United Kingdom from 2009 until 2015 and who then returned to Luxembourg to work will be entitled to have the periods of cover in the United Kingdom taken into account for their old-age pension in Luxembourg.

  • The protocol coordinates the application of social security legislation between Member States of the European Union and the United Kingdom for workers in a cross-border situation after 31.12.2020.

The protocol largely encompasses the same principles as those covered by European coordination regarding:

  • sickness benefits and healthcare,
  • provisions relating to workplace accidents and occupational illnesses,
  • provisions relating to old-age and survivor’s pensions.

However, the coordination of invalidity benefits is subject to modifications, and long-term care benefits (dependence) as well as family benefits are not covered by the protocol.

Regarding the posting of workers: the rules remain exactly the same as those covered by European coordination for all Member States and the United Kingdom within the context of the protocol. However, postings will be limited to 24 months in terms of the relationship with the United Kingdom, and cannot be extended by mutual agreement by the competent authorities.

More information about posting workers between Luxembourg and the United Kingdom after Brexit will be provided in a future Newsflash.