Can I legally work within any European Country?

What countries can I legally work in outside my home state?

In 1973 the United Kingdom became a member of the European Union (EU). 

Under section 39(1) of the EC treaty the ‘freedom of movement for workers shall be secured within the community’. This allows members of one EU country to freely move and work within another EU country

What countries are members of the European Union?

Alongside the UK the following countries are also members of the European Union,

  • Austria

  • Bulgaria

  • Cyprus

  • Belgium

  • Czech Republic

  • Denmark

  • Estonia

  • Finland

  • France

  • Germany

  • Greece

  • Hungary

  • Ireland

  • Italy

  • Latvia

  • Lithuania

  • Luxemburg

  • Malta

  • Netherlands

  • Poland

  • Portugal

  • Romania

  • Slovakia

  • Slovenia

  • Spain

  • Sweden

What is meant by free movement of persons/ Workers?

The free movement of persons or workers within the European Union entails the abolition of any discrimination based on nationality between workers of different European countries. This includes any discrimination linked with employment, remuneration (such as wages/salary) and any other conditions linked with the employment of people from different countries.

What does the term ‘freedom’ actually allow a person to do?

The freedom of people within the EU includes the rights for people to take up and pursue activities such as self-employed work and to set up and establish any undertakings such as a company.

What are the rights of Workers within the EU?

Workers travelling to other EU countries to seek employment have the right to:

  • Accept any offers of employment actually made to them

  • To move freely within the territory of any Member state for this purpose

  • To stay in a member state for the purpose of employment in accordance with any laws or regulations controlling the employment of nationals

  • To remain in the territory of a member state after having been employed by the state government

  • In order for a person to benefit from these provisions they must be classified as a ‘worker’.

When is a person classified as a ‘worker’ in order to benefit from these provisions?

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For more information on:

  • Is the law the same or is it different in relation to part time workers?
  • The law surrounding a person seeking employment in another EU country
  • What rights do the family and dependants of a worker have within the country of employment?
  • The right to Equality
  • What happens on retirement?
  • Working in another European Country