FAQ : Brexit

What is Brexit?

In a referendum which was held on June 23, 2016, a 51.9% majority of the UK’s population voted to leave the European Union. On March 29, 2017, the UK government followed through with its intent to leave the European Union by triggering article 50 of the Treaty on European Union. The United Kingdom was originally scheduled to leave the European Union on March 29, 2019. However, at the UK government’s request, the European Council agreed to extend the negotiations on the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the European Union through January 31, 2020.

Negotiations were led by a single negotiator on behalf of the 27 member States (the European Commission, represented by Michel Barnier): the member States demonstrated strong discipline throughout the process, and regular updates were given to the European parliament up to the latter’s approval of the withdrawal agreement.

Where does the Brexit process currently stand?

On October 17, 2019, European Union and United Kingdom negotiators agreed on a draft withdrawal agreement for the UK’s departure from the EU. This agreement was signed by the President of the European Council, the President of the European Commission, and the UK Prime Minister on January 24, 2020. It was then ratified by the European Parliament on January 29, allowing the transition period to begin on February 1st, once the United Kingdom had left the European Union. European and UK negotiators can now been negotiations on their future relationship.

What happened on February 1st?

With the withdrawal agreement ratified, the United Kingdom left the European Union in an orderly manner at midnight on January 31, 2020, and the United Kingdom will cease to apply EU law upon conclusion of the transition period, which runs through December 31, 2020. The transition period guarantees that nothing will change for either private citizens or for business during 2020. This leaves everyone time to prepare for implementation of the withdrawal agreement and to lay the building blocks for the yet-to-be-negotiated future relationship between the EU and the United Kingdom. Only one thing will change for UK citizens in France from the withdrawal date: UK citizens living in France will no longer be eligible to participate in municipal elections.

Preparing for Brexit

When the transition period ends, there will be implications both for EU and for UK citizens (whether local or posted workers), as well as for economic players throughout the EU and the United Kingdom, whether or not and agreement is reached with regard to their future relationship. As we currently stand, the framework for future relations with the United Kingdom remains uncertain. The transition period concludes at the end of 2020, but it can be extended to the end of 2021 or 2022 if this decision is made before July 1st, 2020. All those affected by Brexit must start preparing now for the end of the transition period.

After the transition period, the United Kingdom’s departure will have implications both for citizens and for economic players, in particular with regard to employment, social security entitlements, or the posting of workers. Whether you are a health care professional, a private citizen, an employer, a UK employee in France, or a French employee in the United Kingdom, this section contains information that can help answer any questions you may have on Brexit.

For any Brexit-related questions : brexit@cleiss.fr

Old age - disability

How periods of employment will be taken into account

I have worked both in France and in the United Kingdom: how will my periods of employment in each country be counted toward my French and British retirement pensions after the withdrawal date?

During the transition period (withdrawal agreement)

Your periods of employment will be taken into account for eligibility purposes and towards the calculation of your retirement pension entitlements in France and the United Kingdom, pursuant to the Social Security coordination rules set forth by the European regulations, which will continue to apply during the transition period (through December 31, 2020).

Retirement pension payment rules

I am drawing a French and British retirement pension while residing in the United Kingdom, in France, or in another State. Will my pensions continue to be paid after the withdrawal date?

During the transition period (withdrawal agreement)

You will continue to be paid your British and French retirement pensions in accordance with the principle of “exportability,” pursuant to the Social Security coordination rules set forth by the European regulations. Indeed, these provisions will continue to apply during the transition period (through December 31, 2020).

Health insurance

Medically necessary care during a temporary stay

I am French-insured and planning a vacation in the United Kingdom after the withdrawal date. Will I be entitled to health care coverage if needed, and what will the rules be?

During the transition period (withdrawal agreement)

You will still be entitled to health care coverage through your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) or, if you do not have it, by showing a Provisional Replacement Certificate (PRC). Your EHIC or PRC will remain valid throughout the transition period (through December 31, 2020), and provide access to and coverage for any care that becomes medically necessary during your stay. Under the withdrawal agreement, the rules will remain the same and you will receive care under the same rules as for members of the British Social Security system, with coverage provided by your French health insurance fund.

If you do not have an EHIC or a PRC, you will need to pay your medical bills upfront, but you can then submit them to your French health insurance fund for reimbursement.

I am UK-insured and planning a vacation in France after the withdrawal date. Will I be entitled to health care coverage if needed, and what will the rules be?

During the transition period (withdrawal agreement)

You will still be entitled to health care coverage through your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) or, if you do not have it, by showing a Provisional Replacement Certificate (PRC). Your EHIC or PRC will remain valid throughout the transition period and provide access to and coverage for any care that becomes medically necessary during your stay. Under the withdrawal agreement, the rules will remain the same and you will receive care under the same conditions as members of the French Social Security system, with coverage provided by your UK health insurance fund.

If you do not have an EHIC or a PRC, you will need to pay your medical bills upfront, but you can then submit them to your health insurance fund in the United Kingdom for reimbursement.

Scheduled care

I am French-insured and have a serious illness that requires scheduled care in a specialized facility in the United Kingdom. Will this still be possible after the withdrawal date, and what will the rules be?

During the transition period (withdrawal agreement)

Yes, this will still be possible and the rules will remain the same. You can receive this type of care, termed “scheduled treatment,” in the European area with coverage provided by your French scheme. Depending on the type of care you need, you may be required to submit an application for prior authorization to your health insurance fund in France. If your scheduled treatment is approved, your fund will issue you an S2 form, which is a certificate of entitlement to your scheduled treatment. If your application is denied, you will not be eligible for reimbursement.

I am UK-insured and my doctor recommends that I receive the treatment I need for my illness at a specialized hospital in France. Will this still be possible after the withdrawal date, and what will the rules be?

During the transition period (withdrawal agreement)

Yes, this will still be possible and the rules will remain the same. You can receive this type of care, termed “scheduled treatment,” in the European area with coverage provided by your UK scheme. Depending on the type of care you need, you may be required to submit an application for prior authorization to your health insurance fund in the United Kingdom. If your scheduled treatment is approved, your fund will issue you an S2 form, which is a certificate of entitlement to your scheduled treatment. If your application is denied, you will not be eligible for reimbursement.

Health care coverage for UK pensioners

I am drawing only a UK pension (old-age, disability, survivor’s, etc.) and residing in France. Will my health insurance coverage change from the withdrawal date, and if so, what will the rules be?

During the transition period (withdrawal agreement)

Your health insurance coverage along with the rules for membership will not change. The current European Social Security coordination rules will continue to apply during the transition period (through December 31, 2020). In your case, the rules stipulate that if you are drawing a pension from only one State and residing in another State, the State that is paying your pension is responsible for providing your health insurance coverage.

This means that your health care expenses in France will be covered by the United Kingdom.

To receive coverage, you will need to apply to your UK retirement pension fund for the S1 portable document entitled “Registering for health care cover” (equivalent to the old E 121 form). With this document, you will be able to register with the local health insurance fund where you live in France. You will remain eligible for the same benefits under the same rules as now, up through December 31, 2020.

Health care coverage for French pensioners

I am drawing only a French pension (old-age, disability, survivor’s, etc.) and residing in the United Kingdom. Will my health insurance coverage change from the withdrawal date, and if so, what will the rules be?

During the transition period (withdrawal agreement)

Your health insurance coverage along with the rules for membership will not change. The current European Social Security coordination rules will continue to apply during the transition period (December 31, 2020). In your case, the rules stipulate that if you are drawing a pension from only one State and residing in another State, the State that is paying your pension is responsible for providing your health insurance coverage.

This means that your health insurance expenses in the United Kingdom will be covered by France.

To receive coverage, you will need to apply to your French retirement pension fund for the S1 portable document entitled “Registering for health care cover” (equivalent to the E 121 form). With this document, you will be able to register with the local health insurance fund where you live in the United Kingdom. You will remain eligible for the same benefits under the same rules as now, up through December 31, 2020.

I am drawing only a French disability pension and residing in the United Kingdom. What will change on the withdrawal date as concerns the payment of my pension, the S1 form, and if there is a request for a medical examination?

During the transition period (withdrawal agreement)

The current Social Security coordination rules pursuant to the European regulations will continue to apply during the transition period (through December 31, 2020). You will continue to be paid your disability pension in accordance with the “exportability” principle. The S1 form will be valid through December 31, 2020.

Health care coverage for French pensioners residing in the United Kingdom, during a temporary stay in France

I am drawing only a French pension and residing in the United Kingdom. I will be coming to France for a short temporary stay and would like to be able to receive medical care there. Will my medical expenses in France be covered and, if so, what will the rules be?

During the transition period (withdrawal agreement)

The current Social Security coordination rules pursuant to the European regulations will continue to apply during the transition period (through December 31, 2020). As you are only drawing a French pension, you retain health insurance coverage under the French Social Security system. You can come back to France for medical treatment, regardless of the reason for your stay, and be covered for all the care you receive in France (medically necessary and scheduled treatments) pursuant to French regulations. You will need to contact the last health insurance fund to which you belonged before you left France to apply for reimbursement of your health care expenses, or alternatively to the local health insurance fund where you are staying in France.

Family benefits

I am UK-insured and working in the United Kingdom while my family is residing in France and my spouse is not working. Will I continue to draw British and any French family benefits after the withdrawal date, and if so, what will the rules be?

During the transition period (withdrawal agreement)

You will continue to draw family benefits under the same rules as currently since the provisions under the European regulations will continue to apply during the transition period (through December 31, 2020). The State that pays family benefits is determined on the basis of your and your spouse’s employment and residency and on your children’s residency. Employment is the decisive factor when determining the competent State by priority right, the non-priority State being determined on the basis of the children’s residency.

In your case, the British fund is competent by priority right for the payment of your family benefits. France, which is the non-priority State, will pay a supplement if total French family benefits come to a higher amount.

I am French-insured and working in France while my spouse is working and residing in the United Kingdom with my children. Will I continue to draw French and any UK family benefits after the withdrawal date? If so, what will the rules be?

During the transition period

You will continue to draw family benefits under the same rules as currently since the provisions under the European regulations will continue to apply during the transition period (through December 31, 2020). The State that pays family benefits is determined on the basis of your and your spouse’s employment and residency and on your children’s residency. Employment is the decisive factor when determining the competent State by priority right, the non-priority State being determined on the basis of the children’s residency.

In your case, the French family benefits fund is competent by priority right for the payment of your family benefits. The United Kingdom, which is the non-priority State, will pay a supplement if total French family benefits come to a higher amount.

I am French-insured and working in France while my family is residing in the United Kingdom; my spouse is not employed. Will I continue to draw French and any UK family benefits after January 31, 2020? If so, what will the rules be?

During the transition period (withdrawal agreement)

You will continue to draw family benefits under the same rules as currently since the provisions under the European regulations will continue to apply during the transition period (through December 31, 2020). The State that pays family benefits is determined on the basis of your and your spouse’s employment and residency and on your children’s residency. Employment is the decisive factor when determining the competent State by priority right, the non-priority State being determined on the basis of the children’s residency.

In your case, the French family benefits fund is competent by priority right for the payment of your family benefits. The UK, which is the non-priority State, will pay a supplement if total UK family benefits come to a higher amount.

I am a UK citizen residing legally in France on the date of the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union and am entitled to France’s active solidarity income (RSA), the disabled adult’s allowance (AAH) or the employment bonus (“prime d’activité”). Will my entitlements continue or will I need to submit a new application?

During the transition period (withdrawal agreement)

UK citizens will continue to draw these benefits under the same rules as EU citizens during the transition period (through December 31, 2020).

I am a UK citizen residing legally in France on the date of the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union. What are the eligibility requirements if I apply for France’s active solidarity income (RSA) after that date, either for the first time or as a returning applicant?

During the transition period (withdrawal agreement)

During the transition period (through December 31, 2020), UK citizens will be able to claim these entitlements under the same rules as EU citizens, provided that they have been residing legally in France for three months on the date of their application.

Local assistance program – Posted workers

French workers posted to the United Kingdom

I have been posted to the United Kingdom by a company based in France. Which country’s Social Security system will I belong to after the withdrawal date?

During the transition period (withdrawal agreement)

The current Social Security coordination rules set forth by the European regulations will continue to apply during the transition period (through December 31, 2020). If you meet the requirements to be considered as a posted worker, you will remain a member of the French Social Security system throughout the duration of your posting (24 months maximum). If you were already a posted worker and your circumstances remain the same, you do not need to submit any special paperwork to your French fund. Your A1 certificate, which is proof of your circumstances, will remain valid for the duration appearing on this document.

UK workers posted to France

I have been posted to France by a company based in the United Kingdom. Which country’s Social Security system will I belong to after the withdrawal date?

During the transition period (withdrawal agreement)

The current Social Security coordination rules set forth by the European regulations will continue to apply during the transition period (through December 31, 2020). If you meet the requirements to be considered as a posted worker, you will remain a member of the UK Social Security system throughout the duration of your posting (24 months maximum). If you were already a posted worker and your circumstances remain the same, you do not need to submit any special paperwork to your UK fund. Your A1 certificate, which is proof of your circumstances, will remain valid for the duration appearing on the document.

Cross-border workers

I am in salaried or self-employment in the United Kingdom, belong to the UK Social Security system, and am residing in France. Will my health insurance coverage change on the withdrawal date, and if so, what will the rules be?

During the transition period (withdrawal agreement)

Your health insurance coverage and the rules under which you are covered will not change. The current European Social Security coordination rules will continue to apply during the transition period (through December 31, 2020). In your case, these rules stipulate that if you are engaged in salaried or self-employment in one State while residing in another State, the State whose legislation applies to you is the one that covers your health care expenses.

This means that your health care expenses in France will be covered by the United Kingdom.

To register for coverage, you will need to apply to your UK health insurance fund for the S1 portable document entitled “Registering for health care cover.” Once you have this document, you will be able to register with the local health insurance fund (CPAM) where you are residing in France. You will remain eligible for benefits under the same rules as currently, through December 31, 2020.

I am in salaried or self-employment in France, belong to the French Social Security system, and am residing in the United Kingdom. Will my health insurance coverage change on the withdrawal date, and if so, what will the rules be?

During the transition period (withdrawal agreement)

Your health insurance coverage and the rules under which you are covered will not change. The current European Social Security coordination rules will continue to apply during the transition period (through December 31, 2020). In your case, these rules state that if you are engaged in salaried or self-employment in one State while residing in another State, the State whose legislation applies to you is the one that covers your health care expenses.

This means that your health care expenses in the United Kingdom will be covered by France.

To register for coverage, you will need to apply to your French health insurance fund (CPAM) for the S1 portable document entitled “Registering for health care cover.” Once you have this document, you will be able to register with the local health insurance fund where you are residing in the United Kingdom. You will remain eligible for benefits under the same rules as currently, through December 31, 2020.

Multi-State employment

I am working both in France and in the United Kingdom. Which country’s Social Security system will I belong to after the withdrawal date?

Under the withdrawal agreement

The current Social Security coordination rules set forth by the European regulations will continue to apply during the transition period (through December 31, 2020). You will remain a member of your current Social Security system. If you have not already done so, you will need to contact the local Social Security fund where you are residing so that they can determine which country’s Social Security system (French or UK) will cover you after Brexit. If you already have an A1 certificate, which is proof of your circumstances, it will remain valid for the duration appearing on this document.

Employment in France

I am a UK citizen working in France. Which country’s Social Security system will I belong to after the withdrawal date?

During the transition period (withdrawal agreement)

You will either join or remain a member of the French Social Security system. You will continue to benefit from the various provisions of the coordination rules under the European regulations (which will remain applicable during the transition period).

Employment in the United Kingdom

I am working in the United Kingdom as a French citizen or a national of another European Union (EU) or European Economic Area (EEA) member State or Switzerland. Which country’s Social Security system will I belong to after the withdrawal date?

During the transition period (withdrawal agreement)

The current Social Security coordination rules set forth by the European regulations will continue to apply during the transition period (through December 31, 2020). You will either join or remain a member of the UK Social Security system. You will continue to benefit from the various provisions of the coordination rules under the European regulations, which will remain applicable during the transition period (e.g. the European health insurance card/ EHIC).

Employers

I am a UK-based company and want one of our employees to be able to work in France. Which country’s Social Security system will my employee belong to after the withdrawal date?

During the transition period (withdrawal agreement)

The rules set forth by the European regulations will continue to apply during the transition period. If your employee is working under a local contract, they have compulsory membership in the French Social Security system. If your employee qualifies for posted-worker status, they will retain their membership in the UK Social Security system throughout their posting. The length of this posting is capped at 24 months.

One of my employees works on an ongoing basis both in France and in the United Kingdom. Which country’s Social Security system will they belong to after the withdrawal date?

During the transition period (withdrawal agreement)

The current Social Security coordination rules set forth by the European regulations will continue to apply during the transition period (through December 31, 2020) and stipulate that your employee must be a member of only one country’s Social Security system. The competent institution will use a range of criteria to determine which country’s Social Security legislation is applicable. Depending on where your employee is residing, you will need to contact either the local CPAM or MSA fund (for agricultural employment), or the competent UK fund.

I am a French-based company and want one of our employees to be able to work in the United Kingdom. Which country’s Social Security system will my employee belong to after the withdrawal date?

During the transition period (withdrawal agreement)

The rules set forth by the European regulations will continue to apply during the transition period (through December 31, 2020). If your employee is working under a local contract, they have compulsory membership in the UK Social Security system. If your employee qualifies for posted-worker status, they will retain their membership in the French Social Security system throughout their posting. The length of this posting is capped at 24 months.

Students

Students in France

I am a UK student coming to France for my studies. What will happen to my Social Security protections after the withdrawal date?

During the transition period (withdrawal agreement)

Your health insurance coverage and rules for membership will not change. The current Social Security coordination rules set forth by the European regulations will continue to apply during the transition period (through December 31, 2020). In your case, your EHIC will entitle you to coverage for any medically necessary care you receive during your stay in France. Medical expenses incurred in France will be covered under the same rules as for members of the French Social Security system.

Students in the United Kingdom

I am a French student going to the United Kingdom for my studies. What will happen to my Social Security protections after the withdrawal date?

During the transition period (withdrawal agreement)

Your health insurance coverage and rules for membership will not change. The current Social Security coordination rules set forth by the European regulations will continue to apply during the transition period (through December 31, 2020). In your case, your EHIC will entitle you to coverage for any medically necessary care you receive during your stay in the UK. Medical expenses incurred in the UK will be covered under the same rules as for members of the UK Social Security system.

Health-Maternity

Aggregation of periods accrued for health-maternity insurance purposes

I have just resumed employment in France after years of employment in the United Kingdom I have an illness for which my doctor has prescribed medical leave. Will my periods of employment in the United Kingdom count toward my entitlement to daily benefits during my medical leave?

During the transition period (withdrawal agreement)

Your periods of insurance in the UK can be counted toward your entitlement to daily benefits as part of your medical or maternity leave package in France as provided by the Social Security coordination rules under the European regulations, which will remain applicable during the transition period (through December 31, 2020). You will need to contact your French health insurance fund, which will contact the most recent UK health insurance fund to which you have belonged. In the event of incapacity for work or maternity leave once you have resumed employment in France, the periods of insurance you accrued in the United Kingdom can be taken into account so that no waiting period applies before you become eligible for medical/ maternity leave cash benefits from the French Social Security system.

I have just resumed employment in France after years of employment in the United Kingdom and am currently pregnant. Will my periods of employment in the United Kingdom count toward my entitlement to daily benefits as part of my French maternity leave package?

During the transition period (withdrawal agreement)

Your periods of insurance in the UK can be counted toward your entitlement to daily benefits as part of your medical or maternity leave package in France as provided by the Social Security coordination rules under the European regulations, which will remain applicable during the transition period (through December 31, 2020). You will need to contact your French health insurance fund, which will contact the most recent UK health insurance fund to which you have belonged. In the event of incapacity for work or maternity leave once you have resumed employment in France, the periods of insurance you accrued in the United Kingdom can be taken into account so that no waiting period applies before you become eligible for medical/ maternity leave cash benefits from the French Social Security system.