Work in the public sector abroad
Affected by Brexit?
Civil servants abroad
You will be considered a civil servant abroad if:
- You are a civil servant in one EU country and seconded to work in another country (in an embassy, consulate or other official institution abroad);
- Alternatively, you work as a civil servant in one country but for private reasons you live (have your permanent home) in another.
If instead, you are working in your host country for a local public sector body without being a national of the country, you will count as a migrant worker.
Make sure you check:
- what impact living and/or working in another EU country will have on your social security:
- where you will have to pay taxes during your stay abroad
Access to jobs in the public sector
As an EU national, you have the right to work in another EU country, including in the public sector — that is, for example, in state-owned companies, government bodies and public authorities.
EU countries may still reserve certain jobs for their own nationals, but only if they involve:
- the exercise of public authority powers
- the safeguard of general interests of the state.
These are typically posts in the diplomatic service, the armed forces, police and security forces, judiciary and tax authorities. But even there, positions not involving the exercise of public authority must be open to other EU nationals. For example, administrative and technical-support jobs do not involve exercising those powers, so those jobs cannot be reserved for country's own nationals.
To get a job in the public sector, you may need official recognition of your qualifications in the country where you want to work.
Your new country cannot give you less credit for your professional experience just because you gained it in another EU country when it comes to:
- deciding what posts you are eligible for when seniority or experience are required to take part in a recruitment competition
- determining your salary, grade or other conditions.
As an EU national looking for a job in another EU country, you are also entitled to the same assistance from public employment services as nationals of that country.
Your experience in the EU counts
Elisa from France worked as a teacher in France for 10 years before she moved to Italy. Her qualification to work as a teacher was recognised by Italy, but the Italian authorities considered her to be a beginner and put her in the lowest grade of seniority and pay.
If seniority and pay of teachers in Italy are determined by taking into account the years of professional experience, Italy must give Elisa the same credit for the comparable experience she acquired in another EU country.