Employment issues and rights in EU

You are entitled to be recruited under the same conditions as nationals of the country in which you are seeking work. You cannot be asked to meet any additional requirements. This means that you can apply for any job vacancy advertised in any EU country, including public sector jobs. However, certain public service posts may be restricted to nationals of a particular country where the job in question involves safeguarding public order or the interests of the state.

Recognition of diplomas

The EU has set up systems for recognising diplomas and training that enable you to make full use of your training and skills in another EU country. Usually if you are qualified to exercise a profession in your home country, you are qualified to exercise the same profession in any other EU country.

If you wish to work in a profession (as a teacher, lawyer, engineer or psychologist, for example) that is regulated in an EU state, you must apply for recognition of your qualifications in that country. The authorities have four months in which to reply. If your qualification is significantly different to those normally used in that country you may be asked to obtain additional professional experience or training, or to take an aptitude test.

If you are a doctor, a general nurse, a dentist, a midwife, a vet, a pharmacist or an architect, your national qualifications are in principle recognised automatically.

If your profession is not regulated in the country in which you wish to work, no recognition of your qualifications is required.

Job seeking

If you are unemployed, you have the right to live in another EU country for a "reasonable period" of time in order to look for a job. Most EU countries allow a six-month period, though this varies between countries. However, no matter how long you have to look for a job, you cannot be asked to leave the country if you can prove that you are genuinely looking for a job and that you have a real chance of finding one. For example, you still have interviews or tests to attend.

You can register at employment agencies and centres without being resident in the country in which you wish to work, and you will be given the same help to find work as nationals of that country.

Employment rights

As an EU national working in another EU country you have the right to live there. For a stay of over three months, this right is confirmed by the issuing of a residence permit to EU nationals.

You are subject to the same working conditions as nationals of the country you are working in as regards, for example, pay, dismissal, hours of work, maternity leave and health /safety at work. You are also subject to the same conditions as nationals of the host country with regards to discrimination based on age, gender identity, sex, sexual orientation, disability, marital status, race, pregnancy, and religion.

Workers posted to another EU country

You have certain specific rights if you are a "posted" worker, (that means, you work for a limited period of time in a member state other than the one where you normally work). If you are to be posted for a period of more than a month, your employer must inform you in writing, before you leave, of your pay and working conditions while you are abroad.

You will usually remain affiliated to the social security system of your country of origin.

The salary of a posted worker is usually taxed in the country where they normally reside' provided they are not posted in another country for more than 183 days over a 12 month period. However, these rules are applied infrequently and it is always best to contact the tax authorities in each country.

Freedom to provide services

You may choose to offer your services in another EU country without establishing yourself there permanently. If you comply with the rules of the profession or trade that apply in your own country, you can, in principle, offer those services anywhere else in the EU. You can travel to assist clients located in another EU country or you can provide paid services from your country of residence without travelling there.

Further Information, help, and advice

Workpermit.com has over twenty years of experience helping people immigrate to countries all over the World. Whether you wish to visit, work, study, or hire workers in the European Union our specialist team of immigration experts can help you with one to one advice, information, and representation when applying for your European visa or work permit.

For more information and advice on European immigration law and visa applications please contact us on 0344 991 9222 or at london@workpermit.com