Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA)
The EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement or TCA describes all the agreements made between the EU and the UK. This includes agreements on posting employees. In most cases, your posted employee will need a visum to work in the UK.
Prepare your posting
Existing postings are not part of the TCA. Postings in the UK that started before 1 January 2021 are no longer valid. You must meet the new rules.
You have an A1-statement
The posting continues until the end date of the A1 statement. If your statement meets the new rules, there is nothing you need to do. Your A1 statement or certificate of coverage proves that your employee continues to be covered by insurance in the Netherlands. If you or your employees work in the UK without an A1 statement, you may be fined by the British Immigration Service.
Posting workers to the UK requires preparation. In most cases, you will need to apply for a visum. Which visum you need depends on the type of work, and the duration of the posting in the UK. Check which visum you need on the Gov.uk website.
The posting is for less than 6 months
You do not need to apply for a work permit or visum if the type of work is included in the list of visitor permitted activities. If they are not, check if you can apply for a short-term work visum. Or use the points system to see if you can apply for a skilled worker visum.
The posting is for longer than 6 months
Basic rules while in the UK
When travelling to the UK, you and your employees need to observe the basic rules for visitors:
- You must leave the UK at the end of the posting.
- You do not live in the UK under the guise of consecutive visits, nor is the UK your permanent country of residence.
- During the posting, you are able to support yourself (and, if applicable, your family) financially.
- You can pay for your return or onward journey.
- You have proof of the posting or other activity to be undertaken in the UK.
Temporary import of equipment
If your employee is bringing any equipment or tools with him to the UK. These will need to be imported into the UK temporarily. Upon departure to the UK, you must issue an export declaration to Dutch Customs. In the UK, your technician will temporarily import the equipment and will pay a deposit. Upon his return to the Netherlands, he declares the import of these ‘returned goods’. It would be wise to bring a list with details of the equipment, including make, type, and serial numbers. With an ATA carnet he does not need to pay a deposit and your employee will quickly get his equipment through customs in the UK. There are costs associated with an ATA carnet.
Work visit without work permit or visum
Your work visit must meet the conditions stated in the TCA. You and your employee need not apply for a visum if you are:
A business visitor for a short stay
You have access for a period of 6 months maximum.
A business visitor for establishing purposes
You have access for a period of 6 months maximum. You must have a senior position and be responsible for the establishment of a business on behalf of your organisation. You may not offer or provide services during your stay. You may not receive wages or compensation.
Q&A about the Brexit
There is an extensive Q&A about the Brexit Trade Agreement available on the website of the European Commission. It explains what the new rules mean for different sectors, such as trade in goods, fisheries and road transport. There are nine chapters in total and you can search per sector. At the top you can choose your language. You can find answers to questions such as: What was agreed to facilitate trade in automotive? How does the Agreement contribute to trade and sustainable development? Will air carriers still have the same rights to operate between and within the EU and the UK? Note that this Q&A was published in December 2020 and therefore speaks of a draft agreement.