Last checked: 13/07/2020

Equal treatment

Affected by Brexit?

The rules and conditions presented on this page apply until at least 31 December 2020:

  • As an EU national, you still have full access to the British labour market and keep all your workers' rights based on EU law;
  • As a British national, you still have full access to the EU’s labour market and keep all your workers' rights based on EU law.

If you have problems enforcing your rights, contact our assistance services.

As EU nationals working in another EU country, you and your family are entitled to be treated as nationals of that country.

Your rights and benefits in your host country may differ from what you're used to in your home country.

While looking for a job: public employment services

As an EU national looking for a job in another EU country, you are entitled to the same assistance from public employment services as nationals of that country.

Contact public employment services.

In the workplace

As an EU national, you must be treated in exactly the same way as your colleagues who are nationals of your host country.

This covers:


As an EU national you are entitled to the same benefits as national workers from the day you start working there (employed or self-employed).

This may also include advantages not directly connected to employment, such as reduced train fares, top-up pensions, educational grants, or unemployment benefits for your children when looking for their first job.

You may also be eligible for non-financial benefits, such as the right to interpretation during legal proceedings.

As an EU national you will also be entitled to receive benefits granted to workers and their families for living in your host country.

Read more on your social security rights - including unemployment benefits, family benefits and pensions.

Cross-border commuters

If you live in a different country from where you work, you will acquire the right to live there even if you are not a national.

If you work across the border, you will be considered as having sufficient means to support yourself.

If you find it difficult to claim residence-based benefits in the country where you live, contact our assistance services.

Sample story

Find out which benefits you're entitled to in your new country

Rosita is from Italy, but lives and works in France with her husband and 3 children. She applies for a discounted train pass for large families, but her request was refused because neither she nor her children are French.

Rosita should insist and, if necessary, seek help from the various EU assistance services. All EU workers with large families (in many countries, 3 or more children) are entitled to cheaper train travel in the country where they work from the day they start work - if such reductions exist and are offered to nationals of that country.

Staying abroad after losing your job

If you lose your job while living in another country, you are still entitled to live there. Check conditions and formalities.

For more information and assistance, contact the authorities responsible for promoting equal treatment in the different EU countries.


EU legislation

Need more information on rules in a specific country?

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