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Remote work in EU countries - new position of Polish Social Insurance Institution

Remote work in EU Countries – new position of Polish Social Insurance Institution

Date29 Sep 2023

kancelaria prawna sdzlegal Schindhelm

In the recent months, employers and employees have faced difficulties in obtaining the A1 certificate when applying for remote work outside of Poland. The position of the Polish Social Insurance Institution (ZUS) was ambiguous, and the practice of individual departments varied significantly. This was due to the lack of regulations that would allow for the coordination of social security systems of individual countries in the case of short-term stays for remote work. The refusal to issue a certificate was often justified by the argument that obtaining the document is not possible because remote work does not meet the conditions of delegating an employee to another EU country.

In some cases, the only way to obtain the document was through a prior conclusion of a so-called special agreement between social security institutions of the two concerned countries (based on Article 16 of Regulation 883/2004 on the coordination of social security systems). Such an agreement allows for a deviation from EU regulations and allows remaining in the Polish social security system in the interest of the insured. In practice, this meant several months of waiting for a decision for the employer without certainty whether the institutions would agree.

New Approach by ZUS

According to the new position of ZUS, an employee performing remote work from another EU member state for a Polish employer does not have to change social security institutions. The basis for obtaining certification in such a case can be the regulations concerning the delegation of employees.

However, this applies only to such remote work that meets three conditions:

  • it is time-limited,
  • it is not part of the usual work scheme, and
  • it has been agreed upon between the employer and the employee.

This change results from the latest guidelines of the Administrative Commission for the Coordination of Social Security Systems, published on June 21, 2023, sign AC 137/23. The guidelines significantly facilitate continuous remote work abroad for a specified period, such as a few months. They also decide that cross-border remote work, which is occasional and time-limited, generally qualifies under Article 12 of Regulation 883/2004 on the coordination of social security systems.

This means that it should be treated like the temporary delegation of an employee to work in another country. Throughout the entire period of such cross-border remote work, the employee remains covered by the insurance system of the country of regular place of work (Poland), and ZUS should issue an A1 certificate to confirm this.

Practical Aspects

According to the new position of ZUS, it will be possible to obtain an A1 certificate for people planning to perform remote work from another EU country. This new interpretation is associated with the widespread adoption of remote work.

This is crucial information, as the new approach will be a significant facilitation for both employers and employees who want to work remotely outside the borders of Poland.

kancelaria prawna sdzlegal SchindhelmSource: The article was created in collaboration with our cooperation partner – sdzlegal Schindhelm Law Office

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