Six steps by the cabinet in case of hard Brexit

Foto: AFP/Scanpix

In preparation for the potential withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union without an agreement, the Lithuanian government has backed legislative changes, which would ensure undisturbed social guarantees for Lithuanian citizens, who worked in the UK so far, and British citizens, who reside in Lithuania, which would be as favourable to individuals as possible.

For Lithuanian citizens, who worked in the UK and will want to return to Lithuania

1. Sickness, motherhood and work experience calculations. Sickness, motherhood and unemployment social insurance accumulation for individuals, who obtained it in the United Kingdom up to Brexit will be included, providing the right to the benefits in Lithuania even after a hard Brexit scenario.

This means that Lithuanians, who worked in the United Kingdom up to Brexit and returned to Lithuania will retain their accumulated sickness, motherhood and unemployment benefits under the same regulations as it was so far.

However, it is important to note that the size of the benefits and payment duration will be assigned based on Lithuanian legislation. Only social security payments paid in Lithuania will be evaluated.

Example: If a Lithuanian citizen returns to Lithuania after Brexit, gains employment and after a time falls ill or leaves on maternity leave, but did not have the necessary social security accumulations in Lithuania, the two-year period when the individual worked in the UK up to Brexit will be included.

Say a person, who returns to Lithuania works from March 1, 2019 and falls ill in May. The benefits will consider the two-year period (from March 2017 to March 2018). If the individual worked legally in the UK at the time and accumulated benefits, then the accumulation up to Brexit will be included.

2. Pension accumulation calculation. Pension accumulation obtained in the UK up to Brexit will be included based on regulations outlined in coordination regulations.

This will ensure that when verifying the right to pension, accumulation while in the UK up to Brexit will be included and the individual will not lose their rights to a pension. This guideline is especially important to Lithuanian citizens, who worked in the UK a long time and lacking an accumulated time period could have become ineligible for a social security pension in Lithuania.

For British citizens, who will work in Lithuania post-Brexit

1. Exemption from social security payments. British citizens, who were in Lithuania for work up to Brexit and who, based on European Union social security system coordination regulations, were exempt from social security payments in Lithuania because they remained ensured in the UK during their work in Lithuania, will not have social security payments calculated up to the end of their duration of work. This will ensure the legitimate expectations of British citizens.

Example: If a British citizen departed for work to Lithuania from March 2018 to October 2019 and British law in social security was applied to them, upon the UK departing the European Union without an exit agreement, the British citizen will not have to pay social security fees in Lithuania up to the end of their term of work in Lithuania, October 2019.

2. Social integration services for the disabled. British citizens and their family members, who were granted temporary residence permits in Lithuania, have the right to make use of the disabled individuals' social integration system operating in Lithuania, which is comprised of the provision of medical, professional and social rehabilitation services, the specification of level of disability, employment capacity and special needs level, the provision of directed compensations and grants for special needs, with the right to benefits payments ensured.

3. Grants to children. It was agreed to provide children's grants (one-time payment for the child, grant for multiple births at the same time, childcare grant for studying individuals and one-time pregnancy grant) for UK citizens and their family members, who have been granted temporary residence permits in Lithuania and who have lived in the country for no less than 3 months under the same conditions as for EU citizens and their family members, also a funeral grant and monetary social support for impoverished residents.

4. Other grants. It is also proposed to denote that the specified grants, which are paid periodically and were directed to British citizens and their family members living in Lithuania up to Brexit would be paid based on respective Lithuanian legislation up to the conclusion of rights to the grants.

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