consequences of working from home for employees in an international situation

23 March 2020

by Hannelore Durieu and Dries Torreele

Consequences of working from home for employees in an international situation

As a result of coronavirus, many employees are working from home. However, for employees who work across borders, this can have far-reaching consequences in terms of taxes and social security contributions. To counteract these consequences, the Belgian authorities have introduced a number of tolerances.

Consequences of working from home for employees in an international situation

Social security contributions

In order to be able to guarantee a uniform effect in relation to social security, the European Union, the EEA and Switzerland have laid down a number of ground rules. Anyone covered by Directive 883/2004, can only be subject to the legislation of one member state and must therefore pay social security contributions in one member state only.

When a Belgian employee mainly works in the country of residence, i.e. more than 25 percent of the working time and/or salary, Belgian social security will continue to apply. Considering the requirement to work from home, it is very possible that, because of this, an employee will work more than 25 percent of the working time in Belgium. In this case, the Belgian social security contributions are owed on the global income.

To counteract this, the Belgian authorities have decided that, as an exception to the rule, these days must not be taken into account when determining the applicable social security legislation. This measure applies from 13 March 2020. Furthermore, an A1 certificate of coverage does not have to be applied for if the amended work pattern is the result of the current corona crisis.


French cross-border workers

Under normal circumstances, a French employee working in Belgium with a cross-border worker status, is allowed to work for a maximum of 30 days outside of the Belgian border region.

On account of the corona virus, the Federal Public Service Finance, in consultation with the French government, has decided that the temporary period that a French cross-border worker works at his home address at the present time, is considered to be force majeure even though, as a result of this, the cross-border worker exceeds the maximum 30-day period. This directive takes effect on 14 March 2020.

Furthermore, in order to cross the border, a French employee must also have in his possession a document that demonstrates the employment relationship between the Belgian legislator and the French employee.

Belgians who work for a Luxembourg-based employer

A tolerance rule was also introduced for Belgian cross-border workers in Luxembourg, with effect from 14 March. To prevent the salary relating to work performed at home being taxed in Belgium during the corona crisis, these days will not be taken into account for the calculation of the 24-day period.

If you work in an international context and you have questions about working from home, please feel free to contact your account manager or our specialists at contact@vdl.be.