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What Brexit will mean for social workers

Information about what the EU exit means for social workers in England.

EU exit and social work in England

Last updated: 7 February 2021

The UK has left the European Union (EU) and we are now in a transition period until 31 December 2020.

While the UK government negotiates with the EU about what our future relationship will look like, we are doing everything we can to prepare for what might happen.

As a social worker or applicant to the social work register, you are a highly valued part of the social work profession even though the UK has left the EU. We know that you may have questions about how Brexit will affect European Economic Area (EEA) and Swiss social workers working in England and those who want to join our register in the future. When we talk about EEA social workers, we mean registered social workers or people who might apply to join the register with qualifications from all countries within the EU as well as Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway.

Below is some information that explains what this transition period will mean for those on or applying to join our register.

If you are already registered with us

We want to reassure everyone that EEA and Swiss social workers registered with Social Work England will continue to be registered with us. If you are already on our register, you do not need to do anything.

If you are applying to join the register

On 31 January 2020, the UK entered a transition period until 31 December 2020. During this time, we will not change the way we register social workers from the EEA and Switzerland.

Applying for settled status

If you’re an EEA or Swiss national, and if you've not done so already, you and your family may need to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme.

You can find more information on the EU Settlement Scheme website.

Visiting European Professionals

If you are an EEA or Swiss social worker practising on a temporary and occasional basis, we will contact you to discuss your options.

What will happen after 31 December 2020

The transition period is expected to last until 31 December 2020. The UK government has until this date to negotiate a future relationship with the EU.

Until these negotiations have finished, we won’t know how our future registration process will be affected or work. We will update this page as soon as we have more information.

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