Markus Deutsch - Aktuelles

 14.05.2019
 
The punishment of undeclared work or services abroad might lead to unpleasant impacts. Some countries have massively increased their controls. But how do I prove that everything is right? Within the EU, the EEA and Switzerland, this is done by means of the A1 certificate. It must be carried with you in every professional activity abroad, regardless of the duration.
 
But how to obtain it and is this even practicable for short business trips or seminars?
 
The A1 certificate
 
Within the EU, the EEA and Switzerland, the A1 certificate serves the employee as proof to the foreign insurance institution which social security system is responsible for him and which social insurance protection exists in Germany. It must be carried abroad regardless of the duration of the professional activity. It therefore makes no difference whether it is a meeting lasting several hours, a further training course, a conference lasting several days or a longer work assignment. Any crossing of the border for professional reasons requires a certificate.
 
What happens during an inspection?
 
If the A1 certificate is not carried abroad, the employee must in principle be subject to the legal provisions in force in the country of employment. If the employee cannot present this certificate in the event of an inspection abroad, his employment can be regarded as an uninsured activity and thus as undeclared work. This can result in the employee having to stop work immediately or not having access to a factory site, for example, from the outset.
 
How do I get the A1 certificate?
 
Since 01.01.2019, employers have to apply electronically to the competent institution for an A1 certificate to be issued (§ 106 SGB IV, Art. 12 Passage 1 EU Regulation (EC) 883/2004); the paper procedure can only be used in exceptional cases. The responsible institution depends on whether the employee is legally insured or not.
In the case of persons with statutory insurance, the application must be submitted to the health insurance fund with which the employee is insured. This applies regardless of whether compulsory insurance, voluntary insurance or family insurance exists.
 
If the employee is not covered by the mandaory health insurance, the application must be submitted to the statutory pension insurance institution (DRV Bund, DRV Knappschaft Bahn-See or the responsible regional DRV institution).
If there is no statutory health insurance and there is an exemption from the pension insurance obligation due to membership in a professional pension institution, the application has to be send to the Arbeitsgemeinschaft Berufsständischer Versorgungseinrichtungen e.V. (Association of Professional Pension Institutions). (ABV), Postfach 080254, 10002 Berlin.
 
The application should be submitted as early as possible, since the employee must always carry the A1 certificate with him at the beginning of his stay abroad. By the way, it is not possible to apply for a flat-rate certificate for all member states. However, it is possible to apply for the A1 certificate for the employee to be issued for several countries.
 
How quickly do I get the A1 certificate?
 
The re-registration can also be done electronically. The A1 certificate is then transmitted automatically. By law, health insurance funds and pension insurance institutions have three working days to send the electronically applied for certificate to the employer, provided that the German legal provisions apply.
The employee must receive the original certificate and always carry it or her during his or her work abroad. Of course, a copy should be stored in the personnel file of the seconded employee. It is useful to send a copy to the company abroad where the employee works. This also applies to secondment certificates in countries with which Germany has concluded a social security agreement.
 
Do I also need the certificate for short business trips?
 
On 19 March 2019, the European Parliament and the Council reached agreement at least once at political level on the modernisation of the rules on the coordination of social security systems. Under this agreement, no A1 certificate will be required for business trips in future. However, the Council and Parliament still have to formally adopt the agreement, which will probably take place in this legislative period, according the Bundesverband der freien Berufe (BFB) reported recently.

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