EurWORK European Observatory of Working Life

Worker’s right to remain


Regulation (EEC) No. 1251/70 of the Commission of 29 June 1970 on the right of workers to remain in the territory of a Member State, after having been employed in that state, grants to nationals of a Member State, who have worked as employed persons in another Member State, and to their family members, the right to remain permanently in the territory of that other Member State. For example, the right to remain permanently may be asserted by a worker who has reached the age laid down for entitlement of an old-age pension and who has been employed in that state for at least the last 12 months and has resided there continuously for more than three years. Similarly, the right may be asserted if a worker ceases to work in that state as an employed person as a result of permanent incapacity to work, and has resided there for more than two years. The right extends to members of the worker’s family and persists if the worker dies during his or her working life, subject to certain conditions.


Similar provisions apply to self-employed persons under Council Directive 75/34/EEC of 17 December 1974 concerning the right of nationals of a Member State to remain in the territory of another Member State after having pursued therein an activity in a self-employed capacity.

However, since the adoption of the Directive 2004/38/EC (190Kb pdf file) of 29 April 2004, which specified the right of citizens of the Union and their family members to move and reside freely within the territory of the Member States, the preceding right of workers to remain in any Member State has become less critical.

See also: free movement of workers; residence right; self-employed person.


Please note: the European industrial relations dictionary is updated annually. If errors are brought to our attention, we will try to correct them.


Useful? Interesting? Tell us what you think. Hide comments

Add new comment