Everything fashion professionals need to know about working in Europe after Brexit

Brexit trade agreements came into play this year which means the UK and other EU countries are now learning day-by-day the reality of the deal outcome. For the fashion industry the final agreement resulted in some positives – one of them being tariff and quote-free traded goods. This means manufacturing can continue as normal (more or less). The negative result is that service professionals won’t be able to move as freely between the UK and Europe. Usual business processes in this area will have to be reconsidered. Think models, casting directors, event producers, photographers, the list goes on.

Fashion professionals thrive on opportunities to work around the world. Employees who’ve experienced different countries and cultures bring a lot of diversity and ideas to the industry too. That’s why we don’t want you to give up searching for new career opportunities abroad. Okay, so your job search journey might be a bit more complicated, but we’re here to help with that.

Want to work in Europe after Brexit? Here’s everything you need to know:

Applying for a job in Europe after Brexit.

If you’re a UK citizen who already works in an EU country and you want to continue doing so, there’s good news. The Withdrawal Agreement means you’re protected to carry on as you are. Likewise if you’re from the EU and have been working in the UK. A Withdrawal Agreement means anyone living in the EU (or UK) before January 2021 is exempt from the new post-Brexit rules.

But, if you’re hoping to find a fashion job abroad in 2021 (and beyond) there are new steps you have to take. While UK citizens no longer have an automatic right to live or work in the EU, and vice versa, it doesn’t mean you can’t. Each country has its own immigration rules, check these out to see what steps you need to take to pursue career ambitions.

We also advise being open about your location when talking to recruiters and employers about new roles. They’ll take your position into consideration and can offer good guidance too.

Can I travel to the UK and Europe for work-related trips?

Yes, fashion professionals, even in the service industry, can still travel across the UK and EU for work-related trips post Brexit. Anyone can travel across these countries for up to 90 days (in any 180-day period) without a visa. This applies to whether you want to visit as a tourist, to see family and friends, study or attend business meetings and events. If you’re required to stay for longer, you will need to apply for a visa and meet certain requirements.

How will Brexit affect events like London Fashion Week?

Attending events (like London Fashion Week) will still be able to go ahead under the 90-day travel rules without a visa. But, if fashion professionals need more than 90 days in the UK or a European country you will have to organise a visa to fulfil that particular country’s conditions.

An important point to consider is that you can only travel up to 90 days within a 180 day period. Travel to any country during this time will count towards your 90 days. It means work-trips abroad will have to be more thought out and planned for the year ahead. Gone are the days when you can book a plane to attend a photoshoot and jump on-board the next day.

Can I still take collections and samples in my suitcase after Brexit?

Are you used to travelling with collections and samples in your suitcase for business purposes? Unfortunately, Brexit means this has become more complicated.

There are new rules around “samples” and “examples”:

  • A sample is “something you cannot resell i.e.it is cut-up or marked ‘sample’ in ink.”
  • An example is “a pristine garment that can be sold on.”

Samples will now need to be declared using Customs procedures, but no duty-tax will be charged. There will however be tax on Examples, unless you can prepare the correct documents in order to clear customs.

How will Brexit affect my employment tax?

Thankfully the Brexit deal honours the elimination of double taxation rules whether you’re a UK or EU citizen. You will only pay employment tax to one country – not two. So, if you’re considering a career move across Europe you don’t have to worry about the affect it could have on your take home salary.

Can I combine travel for work with a holiday?

The good news is, yes. The 90-day travel allowance without a visa (within a 180 period) allows all fashion professionals to add on a leisure break after a business meeting or event in the UK or an EU country. Yet, do remember you only get 90 days without a visa across approximately six months. This 90 days includes travel across all countries. Not 90 days in each country. So, if you have more work trips or holidays planned across the year be careful not to go over your quota otherwise you’ll have to apply for a visa.

What countries are now in the EU?

The EU (economic and political union) is made up of 27 countries. These countries all have an agreement that allows the free movement of goods, capital, services and people, between them. The UK used to be part of the EU but left the union in 2016. The countries in the EU are:

Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Republic of Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden.

Looking for your next fashion job abroad? Here are more tips to help:

Use our expertise as a top fashion recruitment agency to find your next role beyond your expectations.


By Federica Pantanella
07 March 2021 09:00

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