Cross-border commuters and Covid 19: Applicable social security law
Commuters crossing borders who, due to the so-called ‘Covid restrictions’, are temporarily unable or only sporadically able to reach their place of work in the neighbouring country and who are hence forced to work for their employer from home, continue to be covered by the social security system of the country of employment for a period of up to 24 months. The employer must continue to pay social security contributions for these employees in the country of employment.
The German Liaison Office for Health Insurance Abroad (DVKA, Deutsche Verbindungsstelle Krankenversicherung-Ausland) refers to the legal consequences resulting from the ‘Covid restrictions’ with regard to social insurance and has now fleshed out important details for cross-border commuters.
Cross-border commuters are persons who are employed or self-employed in an EU Member State and who reside in another Member State to which they typically return on a daily basis, but at least once a week. They are normally insured under the social security legislation of the country of employment. If cross-border commuters are temporarily unable to work in their regular Member State of employment but have to work from home due to ‘Covid restrictions’, this circumstance does not in principle change the law applicable to their social security protection because ‘Covid restrictions’ are a temporary situation.
According to DVKA’s current view, the social security law of the country of employment remains applicable if such persons temporarily work from home for up to 24 months, be it entirely or partially.
- Cross-border commuters are therefore still entitled to all social security benefits of their country of employment during the above-mentioned period.
- However, should the employer consider ordering cross-border commuters to work from home, either entirely or partially, even after Covid restrictions have been lifted, the assessment of the respective employment relationship under social security law may change. The situation should then be assessed in detail.
Source: Deutsche Verbindungsstelle Krankenversicherung - Ausland (www.dvka.de)
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