Brexit - new Ireland/UK social security convention

A new convention on social security matters was signed by Ireland and the United Kingdom on 1 February 2019. The convention will replicate the social security arrangements currently in place under EU law relating to social security contributions, pensions and benefits, following the United Kingdom’s pending departure from the EU.

When ratified by both countries, it will operate in conjunction with the existing 2007 convention which applies to persons moving between the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man and Ireland.

Key points

The convention ensures that Irish and UK nationals residing and/or working in the UK or Ireland do not lose their accrued rights to social security benefits when moving between the two countries. This means that the rights of Irish citizens living in Ireland to benefit from social insurance contributions made when working in the UK will be protected and vice versa. 

In addition, the convention provides rules to ensure that employees who work between the two countries are not liable to double social security contributions at the same time. For example, employees who are assigned from one country to the other to perform work for a period not exceeding 24 months shall remain insurable in their home country system, which mirrors existing EU rules. There are also provisions concerning the country of insurability of employees who spend time working between the two countries. 

What should employers consider?

Employers with operations between Ireland and the UK should review the validity of A1 documents obtained under EU social security rules for its mobile employees. The A1 documents confirm whether the employees should pay UK NIC or Irish PRSI on their employment income, however, following Brexit, it is unclear whether the A1s will cease to have effect immediately or whether they will continue to apply for a transitionary period. In any event, employers will need to review the social security position of its mobile employees under the convention and take the appropriate steps to obtain confirmation of their country of insurability from the UK and Ireland security authorities.

If you have any questions in relation to the above, or if you would like to discuss this topic further, please contact a member of the Mazars employment tax team below:

Staff Member




Ken Killoran

Tax Director

01 4494451

John Kelly

Tax Senior Manager

01 4494495

Diana Barton

Tax Manager

01 4496457

June 2019

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