Coronavirus: impact of teleworking on social security?

Author: Anne Ghysels (Legal Expert)

One of the measures recommended and/or imposed by the Government to limit the spread of the Covid-19 virus is the increased use of teleworking.

If your worker exercises a cross-border activity, can this have an impact on the applicable social security legislation? The federal authorities reply in the negative.

Regulation (EC) No 883/2004 on the coordination of social security systems provides that a worker who lives in an EU/EEA country or Switzerland and who works in another country is subject to the social security system of the country where he works.

However, in the event of substantial activity in the Member State of residence (i.e. 25% of his working time), the worker will be subject to social security in his country of residence.

Due to the call for everyone to telework, your worker's activity could become substantial in his country of residence and thus lead to a change in the applicable social security legislation.

Example: a worker lives in Belgium and works in France. He is subject to French social security because he spends less than 25% of his working time (in this case 0%) in his State of residence (Belgium).

If, because of Covid-19, his employer asks him to telework all days of the week, he will work 100% of his working time in his State of residence. The European Regulation No 883/2004 stipulates that the worker should then be subject to Belgian social security.

Because of the exceptional circumstances and in order to avoid an administrative overload, the Belgian authorities have decided that this will not be the case: despite the fact that he has worked more than 25% of his working time in his country of residence (Belgium), the worker will remain subject to French social security. Nothing changes.

Exceptionally, periods of telework performed by the workers on Belgian territory because of the coronavirus will not be taken into account for the determination of the applicable social security legislation and will therefore have no influence on their social security affiliation.

This measure applies from 13 March 2020 (midnight) and will remain applicable as long as the urgent measures of the Federal State to limit the spread of the COVID-19 virus are in force, i.e. at present until 5 April 2020.


If you employ cross-border workers from Belgium, Luxembourg and/or France, we invite you to take note of the tax measures taken in this respect (infoflash  20 March 2020)


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