The flexible application of EU social security rules as part of the “Agreement on the Free Movement of Persons” and brought into legislation as a result of Covid-19 was originally applied until 30. June 2022 . Now Switzerland and certain EU and EFTA member states are set to sign a deviating regulation.
The new multilateral agreement that contains a deviating regulation around insurance subordination to facilitate teleworking is due to come into force after 30 June 23 and is in the interest to both employees and their employers. Until this date, a cross border worker, working from a home office remains subject to Swiss social security legislation when working remotely, regardless of how much time they spend in their country of residence. And an A1 certificate is generally not required for such circumstances.
The new multilateral agreement means that as of 01 July 23, no change of jurisdiction is foreseen for telework less than 50% of the total work conducted, and in relation to those States set to sign the agreement.
This specifically refers to:
- Persons using IT tools for their work and based in an EU/EFTA State in which their employer’s registered office.
- It means they may carry out up to 50% of their work activities as cross-border teleworkers (maximum 49.9% of working time).
- In this case, the responsibility for social security remains in the state of the employer’s registered office.
- This exception is only applicable to situations involving two states that have signed the agreement.
According to https://www.bsv.admin.ch, to date – in addition to Switzerland, the following EU and EFTA States have expressed their intention to sign the agreement: Germany, Austria, Belgium, Estonia, Finland, Hungary, Ireland, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, as well as Liechtenstein and Norway.
It is very important to note however, that the multilateral agreement is only applicable to persons to whom the Agreement on the Free Movement of Persons with the EU or the EFTA Convention also applies.
For example, it is not applicable to:
- Persons who carry out other activities as well as Teleworking, such as: visiting clients, self-employed or secondary employment in the State of residence, even if the State has signed the multilateral agreement.
- Persons who carry out an activity in another EU/EFTA State, in addition to teleworking in their country of residence.
- Persons who also work for an employer in the EU/EFTA State in in addition to working for their Swiss employer.
- Self-employed persons.
Cross border workers from Germany, Austria and Liechtenstein:
- From 01. July 2023, cross border workers from Germany, Austria or Liechtenstein and who are employed by a Swiss employer, can remain insured in Switzerland when Teleworking up to maximum 49.9% of the time.
- In the same way and conversely, cross-border commuters who live in Switzerland and perform less than 50% of the telework for an employer (or several employers) domiciled in Germany, Austria or Liechtenstein, can continue to be subject to the social insurance schemes at the employer’s domicile.
- Swiss employers must register their employees with their OASI compensation fund (decentralised OASI body responsible for OASI administrative tasks).
- In addition, the Federal Office for Social Security (FSC) manages two compensation funds: the Federal Compensation Fund for civil servants and the Swiss Compensation Fund, which is responsible for insured persons living abroad and manages the voluntary insurance scheme.
- The ALPS platform used to access social security certificates is currently being updated.
As there is no change of jurisdiction and application planned to the ordinary rules for telework below 25% in relation to all EU/EFTA states, the new agreement applies to cross-border telework between 25% and 49.9% of the total working time. And cross-border telework up to 25% (maximum 24.9%) is possible without social security implications.
100% Teleworking Rules
It is possible for employers and employees to agree on cross-border telework for 100% of working time if this is carried out temporarily and selectively. For example, a Swiss employer can post employees to an EU/EFTA state to perform telework from there, regardless of whose initiative this is, as long as this has been agreed between the employee and the employer.
If the conditions for posting are met, the cross-border telework should not exceed the maximum duration of 24 months, and is guided under the following situations:
- Care for relatives abroad
- Medical reasons
- Closure of office space due to renovation
- Teleworking from a holiday destination
In the case of 100% Teleworking, the employer must obtain A1 certificates from the competent decentralised AHV body responsible for AHV administrative tasks. And a posting beyond 24 months in the case of temporary cross-border telework will not be accepted.
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