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Social security perspective on cross-border work from home and remote work

During the pandemic, to allow some sectors to operate without major restrictions, employees often had to work from home or remotely. Working from home (including cross-border) has thus become a common part of working life, even in ‘post-covid’ times. The EU Commission for Social Security Coordination is now responding to this phenomenon by preparing to regulate cross-border teleworking in terms of social security and health insurance contributions.

In May 2020, the commission issued a guideline stating that a temporary change in the place of work caused by the pandemic and the associated restrictions should not change applicable social security legislations. Starting from 1 July 2022, this no-impact approach only applies to cross-border workers and only until the end of this year.

This means that presently, when determining the state where a remotely working employee is to be insured, the procedure laid down in Regulation No. 883/2004, on the coordination of social security systems, shall be followed.

To ensure that teleworking workers are not discriminated against in social security matters, and to maintain continuity in their coverage by the national social security system, the commission has issued a document containing illustrative examples of how the provisions of the regulation shall be applied:

  • If teleworking is one-off and temporary, it is subject to Article 12 of the regulation, which governs the posting of workers. The employee thus remains in the social security and health insurance system of the posting state for a period of 24 months (provided that all other conditions laid down in Article 12 are met). It is irrelevant whether the employee had asked to work remotely for personal reasons or whether they had been ordered to do so by their employer.
  • If an employee works both from their home abroad and from their workplace at their employer in another member state on a regular basis, the applicable social security legislation shall be determined following the procedure under Article 13 of the regulation, which governs work in two or more member states. Under these rules, the proportion of activities carried out in each country over the next 12 months is of decisive importance.
  • A worker may also apply for an exemption under Article 16 of the regulation, in which case the applicable social security legislation will be determined on a case-by-case basis. Under this article, member states may also negotiate an exemption in the interest of certain persons or categories of persons or for specific situations.

The commission is also seeking to amend the OECD Model Tax Convention to consider the specificities of teleworking in the tax area. We will inform you as soon as we have information on the results of the negotiations between the commission and OECD representatives.

Workshops focusing on performance of work in the EU

Work in several member state is one of the topics to be discussed at the tax breakfast on 15 September, which will also be attended by specialists from the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs and from Kancelář zdravotního pojištění. We will also address this topic at the Czech-Slovak seminar, which will take place on 19 October. In attendance will be our colleagues from KPMG Slovakia who will share their perspective. We cordially invite you to these events.