The future of remote working: Remote work/ Cross border commuters - Extension of flexible Social Security approach until 30 June - Tax Blog

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The Swiss social security administration has communicated that the current “flexible approach” in regards to maintaining ordinary cross-border commuters (who have been having to work from home) in the Swiss social security and pension system will continue to be valid until the 30 June 2021.

According to the European regulation on social security coordination for cross-border workers, working more than 25% of one’s time from home can lead to a switch from paying social security in one’s country of work (e.g. Switzerland) to one’s country of residence (e.g. France or Germany). This has caused concern from cross-border workers and their employers where working from home is simply a consequence of the pandemic. A flexible approach, therefore, had been adopted by the Swiss social security administration in agreement with neighboring countries, which was due to expire on the 31 December. Please read our earlier blogs for more information on this.

As the end of the year of approaches, the EU has yet to publish European-wide guidance on this question and has left it up to individual EU / EFTA countries to develop a bilateral approach. An EU-wide position would have removed uncertainty for both employees and employers across the EU / EFTA zone.

Unfortunately, no agreement has been reached between EU member states on this topic and given the number of cross-border workers in Switzerland, the Swiss social security authorities have been actively seeking to finalize bilateral agreements and it has been communicated on the 25 November that the current “flexible approach” will continue to be valid until the 30 June 2021. This approach applies to Austria, France, Germany and Italy meaning that ordinary cross-border workers from these countries normally should not be forced to affiliate to their home country social security and pension systems due to being required to work from home.

To summarise the confirmed positions:

Country Flexible application until
Italy 30 June 2021
France 30 June 2021
Germany 30 June 2021
Austria     30 June 2021

Belgium has also confirmed recently that they will also apply the flexible approach until the 30 June 2021 and it can be expected that Switzerland will reciprocate.

Deloitte’s view

The extension is welcome news for cross-border commuters living in countries neighbouring Switzerland (and Belgium!), however, a more developed European wide approach would have the advantage of removing uncertainty on a longer term and for other categories of workers, for example weekly commuters to Switzerland living outside of these countries and, who due to the pandemic have not been working from home

If you would like to discuss more on this topic, please reach out to our key contacts below.

Visit our Swiss Tax & Legal specific Covid-19 webpage to get the latest update.

Explore our Deloitte International Security Solution webpage

 

Key contacts

Renaat_Blog

Renaat Van den Eeckhaut – Partner, Global Employer Services Lead Switzerland 

Renaat leads the Global Employer Services (GES) Practice for Deloitte Switzerland. He specialises in international assignment and cross-border employment matters and advises on tax, social security and international mobility policies. Renaat has nearly 20 years of experience with Deloitte Belgium and Switzerland and has worked with many companies across a broad range of industries. Renaat holds a Master in Law and Accounting Law and has authored many publications on international taxation.

Email

D.Wigersma.110x110

David Wigersma - Partner, Global Employer Services

David has 20 years of experience in the area of international corporate and individual taxation planning. He specialises in addressing the complex compliance needs of a cross-border workforce with varied elements of compensation.

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Tabea Nyfeler_110x110

Tabea Nyfeler - Senior Manager, Global Employer Services

Tabea is a recognised expert in the fields of international tax and social security planning. She is the co-lead of our international social security team in Switzerland. Over her career, she has acquired experience in a number of other areas of reward and mobility, including : global employment taxes, rewards, equity based compensation and pensions. Moreover, she has considerable experience in managing global mobility projects for multinational companies across a broad range of industries. Tabea is a Certified Tax Advisor and has authored publications on international tax and social security law.

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Harry Verougstraete - Senior Manager, Global Employer Services 

Harry is a Senior Manager within the Global Employer Services team of Deloitte in Switzerland. He is leading our Posted Workers Directive (PWD) offering and is co-leading our international social security team in Switzerland. Harry has more than 9 years of experience with Deloitte Belgium and Switzerland. He supports companies on global mobility related matters and is specialised in coordinating global mobility programs. He advices on tax, social security and PWD related matters. 

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