Advocaten / Avocats / Lawyers

Thursday, 09 April 2020

What is the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on the applicable social security scheme?

On 30 March 2020, the European Commission published a fact sheet regarding frontier workers and posted workers affected by the restrictions on free movement of people within the EU as a result of COVID-19.

The European Commission hereby urges the member states to limit the impact of COVID-19 in the field of applicable employment law and social security.

Belgium and some of its neighboring countries already acknowledged that the competent member state for social security based on the normal working pattern will not change if the altered working schedule is related to COVID-19 measures.

 

1. European Commission

In their fact sheet, the European Commission clarifies amongst other things the following potential issues.

  • Frontier workers working exclusively in one state, other than their residence state will, in principle, remain insured under the social security scheme of the work state.
  • Employees usually working in two or more states may face a change in the applicable social security when applying the EU regulation 883/2004 on social security. If so, according to the European Commission, these employees may ask their employer to submit a substantiated request to the authority of the state whose social security scheme is preferred to continue to be applied.
  • For posted workers
      • Social security benefits will remain to be granted by the state where social security contributions are paid.
      • Posted workers which already started their activities before the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic should not be affected for social security purposes considering they are physically present in the state to which they are posted.
      • For posted workers who are denied entry in the state to which they are posted, the employer should contact the authority which issued the A1 for further instructions.
      • If the posting did not yet start, the employer should contact the authority of the state which issued the A1 for further instructions.

 

2. Policy of the Belgian social security authorities and neighboring countries

The Belgian social security authorities declared that from their point of view, in the context of the EU regulation 883/2004 on social security, a modified working pattern due to COVID-19 will not have an impact on the applicable social security. No action by the employer or employee should be undertaken in this respect.

It is, however, required that the working pattern “normalizes” again as soon as the restrictions are lifted.

When the EU regulation does not apply (in other words, when an employee is working outside the EEA and Switzerland and a bilateral treaty may apply), the Belgian social security authorities should be consulted, who will analyze each file separately.

The Netherlands, Germany and France also already officially declared that from their perspective, the COVID-19 pandemic will not have an impact on the applicable social security.

 

If you have any questions on this subject, please contact the authors of this article or via covid19@tiberghien.com

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