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A European framework agreement has been concluded to facilitate telework from 1 July 2023. Indeed, on 30 June 2023, the exception to the principle of being subject to international social security introduced in the Covid-19 period will expire.
Regulation (EC) No. 883/2004 on the coordination of social security systems stipulates 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/she works (State of employment, State where his/her employer is established).
However, in the event of substantial activity in the Member State of residence (i.e. 25% of his/her working time), the worker will be subject to social security in that Member State.
As a result of the widespread use of telework, that part may become substantial in his/her State of residence, which in turn may lead to a change in the applicable social security legislation.
Example: a worker lives in Belgium and works in France (where his/her employer is established). He/she is subject to French social security because he/she spends less than 25% of his/her working time (in this case 0%) in his/her State of residence (Belgium).
For the period from 13 March 2020 to 30 June 2023 an exception to this principle was provided for due to the increased use of telework during the Covid-19 crisis.
If, because of Covid-19, his/her employer has asked him/her to telework all days of the week, he/she has worked 100% of his/her working time in his/her State of residence. European Regulation 883/2004 stipulates that the worker should then be subject to Belgian social security.
Given the exceptional circumstances and to avoid an administrative overload, the Belgian authorities have decided that this would not be the case.
Despite the fact that he/she has worked more than 25% of his/her working time in his/her State of residence (Belgium), the worker in our example remained subject to French social security. Nothing has changed!
Periods of teleworking carried out by workers on Belgian territory due to the coronavirus are exceptionally not taken into account for the determination of the applicable social security legislation and therefore do not affect their social security affiliation until 30 June 2023.
Since this exception expires on 30 June 2023, it means that the principle would apply again.
In the meantime, however, teleworking is becoming more widespread. This could have the consequence that from 1 July 2023, the worker would be subject to the social security of his/her State of residence rather than that of his State of employment if the worker spends at least 25% of his/her working time there.
Thus, in our example, the worker who spends 60% of his/her working time in France (his/her state of employment) and who carries out 40% telework in Belgium (his/her state of residence) would be subject to Belgian social security from 1 July 2023.
To avoid this, a European framework agreement has been concluded to allow workers who work less than 50% of their total working time in their State of residence to remain subject to the social security system of their State of employment.
Example: a worker who carries out 60% of his/her activity in France (his/her State of employment) and 40% in Belgium (his/her State of residence) will be able to remain subject to French social security, as was the case under the exception in force until 30 June 2023.
The limit of the 25% principle will be raised to 50% from 1 July 2023.
The individual Member States must now each accede to this European framework agreement. Belgium has already indicated it will do so.
So far, no changes have been announced on the tax level. The rules of double taxation avoidance agreements apply. Remuneration is, in principle, taxed in the State of employment, i.e., the country where the worker actually works, unless the so-called ‘183-day’ rule applies. In the latter case, remuneration is taxed in the worker’s State of residence.
If you have any questions on this subject, please do not hesitate to send an email to GEConsulting@partena.be
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