Business trips in EU countries – do you know the A1 form?
The last days I read an article in the Handelsblatt. This once moved me to deal with the subject of “posting” and social security obligations: The “A1” form. For me, secondment and social security obligations, or proof thereof, were something that would not affect me. But I am also in other European countries from time to time. So if I go on a business trip to London or Vienna, I have to carry such a form with me. Otherwise, fines will be imposed not only on my company, but also on me personally. And that is now being examined.
What is the A1 form?
The A1 form (here a german example) is a three-page form, which describes exactly the person, the employer, and confirms that the social security obligations of each country are respected.
The purpose is to ensure that employees are always socially insured.
You always have to carry this form with you when you are abroad (i.e. even a short visit to a customer or a trade fair, basically a fuel stop with a company car in Austria is enough).
Where do I get the A1 form from?
As of 01.07.2019, the A1 form must be requested electronically by the employer from the health insurance fund of the respective employee. If in doubt, a pension fund may also request the German pension insurance.
How much penalty do I have to pay if the A1 is missing?
Not carrying an A1 confirmation of social security obligation is in France with a hefty 3,296 €. In Austria, between 1,000 € and 10,000 € can be imposed. Other countries require social security in their country for the days in question. The employee is also obliged to do so.
The customs authorities of the individual countries can hope for the help of the hotels: In the meantime, it is regularly stated in the registration certificate of the hotel whether one is travelling privately or on business (in order to avoid tourism packages). It is important to know that the local customs authorities have access to this data and this forms of the Hotels, you are checked in.
What gives hope is that a joint networking of the social insurance institutions internationally will make the A1 form and thus the “keeping with you” superfluous. At least there is hope. Until then, I can only advise anyone who travels abroad to organise such a certificate.