Employment: Finding Work in the European Union

Article excerpt

Margaret McGuigan is one of the Province's Careers Officers and works at the East Belfast Job Centre, part of the Department of Employment and Learning. She provides advice and guidance on a range of employment, training and educational issues. She and her colleagues can be contacted online at www.jobcentreonline.com or on Freephone 0800 353530

THE European Union is made up of 15 member states: Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Greece, Republic of Ireland, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Spain, Portugal, Sweden and the United Kingdom ( UK).

Three additional countries, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway are part of the European Economic Area. (EEA)

Employment rights

l A United Kingdom national has the right to enter and stay in another member state for up to three months without formalites after which time a residence permit will need to be obtained.

l To be granted this you will need to prove that you can support yourself while in that country.

For example you would need to be in receipt of a grant, be in employment, be self-employed or have sufficient funds in a bank account.

l A UK national working in another EU state has the same rights as a national of that country with regard to pay, working conditions, health and social services.

It is important to note however, that some benefits are only available once tax and social security contributions have been paid in the host country.

Linguistic Skills

l Language is likely to be the main barrier to living and working in another part of Europe.

l Many jobs will require at least some knowledge of the local language.

Even if the local language is not essential for your job, it will make life a lot easier if you can communicate on issues of daily living. …