Employment and pensions

Belgium | Teleworking from abroad: extension of the neutralisation rule for social security

Published on 31st Jan 2023

Further extension to the social security neutralisation period for teleworking from abroad in Belgium

Within the European Union, the European Economic Area and Switzerland – that is, the Member States – following the application of Regulation 883/2004, the general principle is that an employee is only subject to the social security legislation of one Member State and that is usually the legislation of the country in which the employee works.

In case of simultaneous employment in two (or more) Member States, an employee is subject generally to the social security legislation of the country of residence if a substantial part (broadly 25%) of the work is performed in this Member State. Teleworking and home working can have a direct impact on the applicable social security legislation following the regulation.

Post-pandemic guidelines

Due to the worldwide pandemic and employees increasingly teleworking and homeworking, a neutralisation guideline for social security purposes was agreed at European level by the Administrative Commission for the coordination of social security schemes (ACSSS). This guideline was implemented in Belgium and stated that any time spent working from home as a consequence of the pandemic would be disregarded when determining the applicable social security legislation (that is, neutralisation of the 25% rule).

In July 2022, the ACSSS agreed to extend the neutralisation period until 31 December 2022 inclusive, which was subsequently extended until 30 June 2023. On that basis, there should be no impact for employees teleworking abroad in another Member State when determining the applicable social security legislation.

As from 1 July 2023, this neutralisation will in principle come to an end and the EU social security coordination rules will have full effect again.

Osborne Clarke comment

The neutralisation guideline has no automatic binding force in all Member States. Accordingly, the implementation and approach adopted by Belgium does not automatically apply in other Member States, and the position taken by the relevant other Member State will need to be considered. In terms of tax legislation, no derogation rules have been in force since 1 July 2022. Advice should be obtained on the specific facts.

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* This article is current as of the date of its publication and does not necessarily reflect the present state of the law or relevant regulation.

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