On 1st of March 2019 the Spanish Government approved the Royal Decree-law 5/2019, adopting contingency measures in the face of the exit of the UK from the European Union without reaching the agreement provided for in Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union (hereinafter "RDL 5/2019").

RDL 5/2019 will come into force from the moment that European Union treaties cease to apply to the United Kingdom and for a period of two months (unless extended by the government) and in certain provisions if the British authorities do not offer reciprocal treatment to the said provision of RDL 5/2019.

In this sense, the main measures of RDL 5/2019 are the following:

Accreditation of residence and work

British citizens and their family members residing in Spain are obliged to apply for the documentation corresponding to their new status in Spain within 21 months from 30 March 2019 (cross-border employees must also prove such employment condition). Spanish Government will provide instructions for this procedure.

During the regularization period, the British citizens and their family members will continue to reside legally in Spain, for all purposes.

If British citizens and their family members have resided continuously in Spanish territory for at least 5 years, they will be able to apply for a long-term residence permit.

Professional access and qualifications

Those UK citizens who have obtained validation of their professional qualifications in order to exercise a profession or a professional activity permanently in Spain, will be entitled to continue working under the same terms.

Furthermore, the qualifications obtained by British or Spanish citizens in the United Kingdom before the entry into of force of the RDL 5/2019 and during the following 5 years will be recognized in accordance with the current regulation before that date.

Finally, UK citizens taking aptitude tests for the access to certain professions will not be affected by their nationality if the tests were announced before Brexit.

Relocated employees

Those companies which are established in Spain and have employees seconded to the United Kingdom upon Brexit must continue applying the United Kingdom legislation transposing Directive 96/71/EC during the period of such secondment. However, this is subject to the condition that the British authorities grants reciprocal treatment to those employees who are temporary seconded to Spain by companies established in the United Kingdom.

European Works Councils

Companies and groups of companies with European dimensions employing British nationals or with companies in the UK and central direction in Spain, will keep the European Works Councils or alternative information and consultation procedures which might have been agreed prior to Brexit, under the same terms as provided by the Law 10/1997 of 24 April 1997, unless changed in the future.

Social Security

British citizens residing in Spain:

  • British citizens, who reside and work legally in Spain and are subject to the Spanish social security legislation after 30 March 2019, will enjoy the same rights and obligations as Spanish citizens with regard to social security.
  • British citizens, who reside and work legally in Spain and are subject to the British social security legislation after 30 March 2019, may maintain this situation until the end of the period provided for in Regulation 883/2004. After expiry of the period, they will be subject to the Spanish social security legislation.
  • British pensioners subject to the Spanish social security system will continue to receive their contributory pensions and their corresponding revaluations, regardless of the country of residence of the beneficiaries, with the exception of the minimum complements.
  • British citizens who prove the payment of contributions in the United Kingdom and Spain before the date of Brexit will benefit from the accumulation of insurance in order to be entitled and to calculate pension benefits, disability benefits, sick leave benefits and benefits derived from maternity and paternity leave.
  • British citizens will be entitled to unemployment benefits paid by Spain for the periods of contribution in the United Kingdom before Brexit, provided that the last contributions were made in Spain.

Spanish citizens residing in the United Kingdom:

  • Spanish citizens, who reside and work legally in the United Kingdom or Gibraltar and are subject to the Spanish social security legislation after 30 March 2019, may maintain this situation until the end of the period provided for in Regulation 883/2004.
  • Spanish citizens receiving retirement benefits subject to the Spanish social security system will continue to receive those, even if they reside in the United Kingdom after Brexit.
  • Spanish citizens who prove the payment of contributions in the United Kingdom and Spain before the date of Brexit will benefit from the accumulation of insurance periods for the purpose of calculating pension benefits, disability benefits, sick leave benefits and benefits derived from maternity and paternity leave.
  • Spanish citizens will be entitled to unemployment benefits paid by Spain for periods of contribution in the United Kingdom or Gibraltar before the date of Brexit, provided that the last contributions were made in Spain.

 

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