The future of remote working: Remote work / Cross border commuters - Extension of flexible Social Security approach until 31 December 2021, expansion to all European Economic Area countries and Switzerland - Tax and Legal blog

2021-06-22_15-46-20The 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 31 December 2021. Further, the social security authorities of the European Economic Area confirmed the expansion of this approach to all the EEA countries and Switzerland.

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 certain neighbouring countries until 31 December 2021. Please read our earlier blogs for more information on this.

With the Administrative Commission’s meeting held on 16 and 17 June 2021, the social security authorities of all European Economic Area countries and Switzerland agreed on a joint position: The “flexible approach” will be valid until 31 December 2021 and will be expanded to all EEA countries and Switzerland. Consequently, ordinary cross-border workers from the following countries should not be forced to affiliate to their home country social security and pension systems due to being required to work from home:

Austria Finland Latvia Portugal
Belgium France Liechtenstein Romania
Bulgaria Germany Lithuania Slovenia
Croatia Greece Luxembourg Slovakia
Cyprus Hungary Malta Spain
Czechia Iceland Netherlands Sweden
Denmark Ireland Norway Switzerland
Estonia Italy Poland

Deloitte’s view

The expansion to this variety of countries is welcome news for cross-border commuters living in EEA and Switzerland, as it enables companies as well as their employees to better cope with the social security effects due to the Covid-19 pandemic and its aftermath.

However, it is advisable to closely monitor cross-border cases involving any countries other than those listed above as the “flexible approach” might not be applicable and social security liabilities in additional countries could arise.

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

Explore our Deloitte International Security Solution webpage

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


Key contacts


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.


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.


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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Gloria Fehringer - Senior Consultant, Global Employer Services 

Gloria is a senior consultant within Deloitte’s Global Employer Services. In that role, she supports clients with a variety of topics within international expatriate taxation, social security and global mobility support to ensure compliance amongst their mobile workforce. Gloria holds a B.A. degree from ebz university in Bochum and a LL.M. degree in corporate tax law from the University of Cologne, both accomplished in dual study programs while being employed with Deloitte in Germany. Alongside working in fields of international- and mobility tax as well as social security in Switzerland, she concluded a CAS in National Individual Taxation from Kalaidos School Zurich. 



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