Workers’ Travel within the EU, EEA and Switzerland and the Unknown A1 Certificate

8 July 2019

Perhaps the community regulations regarding coordination of the social security systems seem foreign both to business owners and to workers themselves, but that does not mean that they should not be kept in mind and that non-compliance with them does not imply the imposition of penalties.

For this reason, it is advisable to take into account that in matters of workers’ travel (both working on their own behalf as freelance or on behalf of others) to carry out work in another country of the EU, EEA or Switzerland, it is necessary to obtain, prior to said travel, the corresponding certificate that confirms which legislation would be applicable in social security matters. That certificate is known as the “A1 Certificate.”

This obligation is the result of that set forth in Article 12 of Regulation (CE) no. 883/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council, of 29 April 2004, on the coordination of the social security systems and Article 19.2 of Regulation (EC) no. 987/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council, of 16 September 2009, which adopts the application of regulations of Regulation (EC) no. 883/2004, on the coordination of the social security systems (text pertinent for the purposes of the EEA and Switzerland), respectively.

In light of the foregoing, if a worker, either freelance or working on behalf of another, with residence in Spain, in compliance with his/her obligations, must travel to work (in the broadest sense of the concept) to another country of the EU, EEA or Switzerland, he/she must apply, before travelling and using Form TA 300, for his/her corresponding A1 Certificate from the General Treasury of the Social Security (TGSS). The same thing occurs when a worker with residence in another country of the EU, EEA or Switzerland intends to travel to Spain. In that case, the worker must also travel with the A1 Certificate issued by the social security authorities which are competent depending on his/her residence.

If the travel of the worker to Spain corresponds to (i) the execution of a contract signed between his/her employer and the beneficiary of the service (with activity or establishment in Spain) or (ii) travel to a work centre of the company or of another company belonging to the group (with activity or establishment in Spain) and in either cases the travel was to last more than eight (8) days, in that case, the travel must be duly communicated, before its start and regardless of its duration, to the Spanish labour authority competent in the corresponding territory where the services are to be rendered.

Travel of a worker to the destination country without the necessary documentation or failure to communicate the travel in the legally established terms, and in general any non-compliance with the obligations established in the regulations that govern travel to Spain of workers in the context of a cross-border rendering of services, can result in penalties of up to EUR 6,250.00.

Finally but no less important, it is advisable that the worker obtain his/her European Health Insurance Card, which certifies the right of its holder to receive medically necessary healthcare during his/her stay in any of the countries which make up the EU, EEA and/or Switzerland.

For further information: Monika Bertram