Probably good news for cross-border workers: finally, there will be clarity on the number of hours that cross-border workers are allowed to work from home, without any unpleasant consequences for their social security situation. Read more here:
What is the current situation?
A cross-border worker is an employee who lives in one EU member state and works in another EU member state and who returns to his or her country of residence every day or at least once a week. This category of employees is covered by the social security system of the country of work. However, if a cross-border worker works at home 25% of the working time or more, the employee is socially insured in his or her country of residence and no longer in the country of work. This is regulated by European Regulation 883/2004. This shift in social security has major consequences, both for cross-border workers themselves and for their employers.
During the corona pandemic, there were temporary rules, which were extended several times. These rules will expire on 1 July 2023, which led to an increasing call for clarity, especially from the Euregion. After all, after the pandemic, cross-border workers also want to continue working from home on a regular basis, just like colleagues working in their country of residence.
What are the new rules?
Also on the initiative of the Netherlands, a draft Framework Agreement has been drawn up, according to which cross-border workers will soon remain socially insured in their country of work, subject to conditions, if they work from home less than 50% of their working time. If at least two EU countries agree to this proposal, the rule will apply from 1 July 2023, provided that both the country of residence and the country of work have signed the Framework Agreement. The Netherlands and Belgium have already announced that they will sign the agreement. Germany is also likely to follow.
This means that cross-border workers will be allowed to work from home up to 50% under the future rules, without any change to their social security situation. However, employers or employees must apply for this in the country of the employer. The social security body of the country of work handles this application. In the Netherlands, this is the Social Insurance Bank (Sociale Verzekeringsbank, SVB) and in Belgium de Rijksdienst voor Sociale Zekerheid (RSZ).
Furthermore, it is good to know that this exemption regulation only concerns social security rules. Tax rules remain unaffected.
As soon as further details are announced about this new regulation, SPEE advocaten & mediation will of course inform you. In the meantime, should you have any questions about cross-border work, working from home or other employment law topics, please feel free to contact us.