When you are seconded abroad, when you come to work in the Netherlands from abroad or when one of your employees comes to work in the Netherlands from abroad or is employed abroad from the Netherlands, the question of social security arises. An A1 declaration provides a lot of clarity on this.
What is an A1 statement or certificate of coverage?
An A1 declaration or “certificate of coverage” is a confirmation in respect of the applicable social security rules to a specific worker. The form includes, inter alia:
- the country whose social security legislation applies;
- the country where the person concerned works or will work;
- the period for which the statement is issued;
- the ground on which the social security legislation of the said country applies.
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Where is the employee socially insured?
Where a person is socially insured during a posting depends on the specific situation and should be assessed per posting.
If a worker is going to work in the Netherlands from abroad, what matters initially is which part of the world he/she comes from. The three categories of countries used for this purpose are:
- EU, EEA or Switzerland;
- treaty countries;
- non-treaty countries.
Where the worker comes from is partly decisive when determining the applicable regulations or treaties regarding social security. This is because it can be partly used to determine whether he/she is covered by the Dutch social security system or that of the country of origin.
There are also other aspects that determine where a person is socially insured, such as whether the work is performed for a Dutch or a foreign employer, the nationality of the employee and whether it involves living or staying in the Netherlands. Different rules may apply on these grounds.
Workers from EU, EEA or Switzerland
If the relevant worker comes from the EU, EEA or Switzerland to work in the Netherlands, he/she is in principle socially insured in the Netherlands. However, there are exceptions to this based on an EU regulation. In a number of situations, he/she is not socially insured in the Netherlands, but the worker remains socially insured in the country of origin. This is the case when he/she:
- works in the Netherlands for less than 24 months for an employer or temporary employment agency from the country of origin (secondment);
- works in the Netherlands as a civil servant from a country of the EU, EEA or Switzerland;
- is sailing on a seagoing vessel;
- works in several countries;
in addition to working in the Netherlands, receives sickness benefit or unemployment benefit from a country of the EU, EEA or Switzerland.
Workers from a treaty country
Met een aantal landen heeft Nederland een apart sociaalzekerheidsverdrag afgesloten, deze landen worden “verdragslanden” genoemd. Komt de werkende vanuit een verdragsland in Nederland werken, dan is hij/zij ook in deze gevallen vaak sociaal verzekerd in Nederland. In uitzonderingssituaties kan de werkende niet in Nederland sociaal verzekerd zijn. Deze uitzonderingen verschillen echter per verdragsland, aangezien specifieke afspraken tussen de desbetreffende verdragslanden kunnen verschillen. Hiervan is bijvoorbeeld sprake wanneer de werkende:
- tijdelijk in Nederland werkt (wat onder “tijdelijk” wordt verstaan, verschilt per verdrag);
- in Nederland én in het verdragsland werkt;
- in het internationaal transport werkt;
- in de zeevaart of zeevisserij werkt;
- bij een ambassade of consulaat van het verdragsland werkt.
Employees from other countries
If a person is neither from a regulation country nor from a treaty country, the Netherlands is normally the country of social insurance. Again, exceptional cases are conceivable. Important factors include the duration of work in the Netherlands, whether there is a foreign or Dutch employer and national legislation.
If the worker starts working abroad from the Netherlands, the above applies reversibly.
Applying for an A1 certificate
Especially in exceptional situations, it is advisable to have an A1 declaration or Certificate of Coverage in your pocket. This can be applied for from the Netherlands at the Sociale Verzekeringsbank (SVB). If the situation is such that someone is going to work in the Netherlands from abroad, the certificate should be applied for in the country of origin.
S1 Declaration: European insurance card
If it can be concluded that someone remains socially insured in the Netherlands while working abroad, an S1 Declaration (former E106 Declaration) can be requested from the Dutch health insurer. An S1 declaration is a ‘Declaration of Right to Medical Care’ that aims to establish the right to care in the country of employment at the expense of the Dutch health insurer. Finally, when staying temporarily within the EU, EEA or Switzerland, it is advisable to apply for a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) from the Dutch health insurer.
If you have any questions about a social security position or the A1 certificate, feel free to contact our Global Mobility Services specialists.