Switzerland will continue a flexible application of the social security rules for remote workers until the end of 2022. The extension of a “no-impact policy” allows frontier workers to continue to work from home without becoming subject to social security in their country of residence.
Since early 2020 Switzerland has had mutual agreements with all of its neighbouring countries to apply a certain degree of flexibility in terms of the regulations on social security. The regulations’ aim was to ensure no change in social security subordination while employees have been working from home due to COVID-19 measures. While it was planned to end the flexible application of rules by the end of June 2022, the European Union (EU) Administrative Commission (“the Commission”) has now agreed to extend the “no-impact policy” for social security for frontier workers until the end of 2022 (for previous coverage, see GMS Flash Alert 2022-075, 5 April 2022).
This extension, however, should be seen as a “transitional period” for individuals covered by the “no-impact policy”. For workers residing in one EU member state (or Switzerland) working in another EU member state (or Switzerland), this means that they remain subject to the social security system in the country where their employer is located even if they work from home for more than 25%. (For more information on the EU, see GMS Flash Alert 2022-119, 17 June 2022).
Switzerland follows the Commission’s guidelines to extend the “no-impact policy” until end of 2022 (publication by Swiss federal social security authorities). The Swiss authorities use the term “Telearbeit” instead of home office on purpose, since not only home office work should be covered but also other regular remote work. Depending on the developments during the rest of the year, a flexible application may continue beyond 2022.
According to the verbal confirmation from the Swiss federal authorities, no form A1 should be applied for cases covered under this “no-impact policy” until the end of the year.
With respect to “Telearbeit” from the UK, the “no-impact policy” has not yet been confirmed by the competent authorities.
This extension of flexibility until the end of this year is not only providing employers additional time to agree a remote work policy, but it also offers the authorities time to discuss an appropriate way forward in light of remote work remaining relevant beyond COVID. It is not inconceivable that the underlying rules could be adapted after the end of this transitional period.
Please note that for the tax implications of remote work, the authorities are yet to confirm if the transitional rules will continue to apply beyond 30 June 2022.