Placing UK workers in Europe was once a relatively straightforward exercise. Navigating different tax laws and general formalities aside, it was merely an extension of the norm – and a great opportunity for more business. But on 1st January 2021, all that changed.

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the effects of post-Brexit immigration laws have been masked. And with overseas placements on the back burner, most agencies haven’t experienced the true extent of the changes. Now, as the mist of the pandemic slowly begins to fade, business travel is back – but not as we knew it.

In this article, we’ll look at how the goal posts have shifted for European work placements. We’ll also discuss the new areas that recruitment agencies need to consider, and what action you should take to keep end clients on side while remaining compliant.

A new playing field

Post-Brexit immgration laws brought about considerable challenges for recruiters looking to place UK workers in overseas roles. Some EU countries have closed their doors entirely, regardless of relevant documentation. But for those who haven’t, contractors and candidates may require new papers such as work permits, visas and other permissions. Take Germany for example, they can sponsor a work permit, but it will cost approximately double the pre-Brexit fee.

Gone are the days where hopping to and from the continent was a simple affair. Without the right preparations in place, a typical 3 to 12-month placement could leave you and your contractor open to fire from the tax office. So, if you want to avoid a nasty sting, you’ll need to get ahead of the game and find out the specific requirements of the country you’re working with.

Assessing challenges and risk prevention

EU countries know exactly what to look for amidst the changes, and will be able to spot any low-hanging fruit. Unless you’re liaising with a large international company who’ll take care of the finer details, the responsibility will be down to you – the recruiter.

This makes it vital to accurately scope and build extra costs and requirements into the pricing as early as possible. Failure to add these expenses to the end client’s quote will lead to eroded margins, or perhaps a temptation to cut corners to get a deal over the line. It could even result in the deal falling apart completely.  

Although you may be trying to prevent hard work from going to waste, bending the rules ends with toxic contractor books and the risk of deportation, fines and possibly future travel bans. While it’s vital you stay true to your remit and make sure your contractors have a right to work, it’s just as important that you incorporate the extra costs to avoid your agency being in a disadvantaged position.

We can help

Have you got European roles on the horizon? If you’re considering UK workers, don’t fall foul to post-Brexit legislation – contact Workr International. We’ll line up all the relevant information, calculated and costed to precision, so you can work this into your initial quote. With a wealth of experience in global overseas compliance, our experts know exactly where and what to look for. 

If you want to ensure you’re meeting new requirements while maintaining business in a changing European landscape, book in a call today. We’ll be in touch soon.  

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