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The prospective withdrawal of the United Kingdom (UK) from the European Union (EU) – so-called Brexit – is expected to have a significant impact on the social security arrangements for mobile employees. There is currently no detail on what the arrangements will look like for new post-Brexit assignments; stakeholders are waiting to see whether new arrangements will be made, or whether the UK and Europe will default back to the old bilateral agreements between them. However, transitional arrangements pursuant to the new draft Withdrawal Agreement released by the European Commission will apply to those employees on assignments that start prior to 1 January, 2021.

The attached Insight summarises the draft rules, which largely provide some welcome clarity but which leave the prospect of an enduring ‘two-tier’ system – the latter promises to be complex for both employers and employees to manage. There are also some areas of uncertainty which will continue to pose challenges to employers and employees planning for future mobility post-Brexit.