Correct social security subordination and the associated measures are one of my specialities in consulting and the various seminars. Form A1 is used for various purposes, of what not everyone is always aware.
The use of the A1 is explained below with reference to the guidelines on compulsory insurance (WVP). With the WVP, the FSIO has created a comprehensive work that is easy to read and provides many answers to practical questions.
What are the most important changes in the WVP for 2024?
Various rewordings had to be made due to changes during 2023 and for 2024:
- Definitive entry into force of the agreement with the United Kingdom on 1 October 2023
- Entry into force of the social security agreement with Albania on 1 October 2023
- Provisions on cross-border teleworking with EU and EFTA states (application of the framework agreement on teleworking)
- Temporary posting for 100% teleworking in application of the CH-EU and CH-EFTA Agreements on the Free Movement of Persons
- Adjustment of the maximum duration of a posting in accordance with the social security agreement
- Incorporation of the reference age due to AHV21
- Wording based on the amendments to the guidelines on the affiliation of persons liable to pay contributions (WKB)
With regard to the substantive changes such as the social security agreements with the UK and Albania, the changes to AHV21 and the framework agreement on teleworking, I refer to the various blogs that have already been published.
Now let’s move on to the question of A1 certificates
The certificate can only be used in connection with cases of application of the Agreement on the Free Movement of Persons with EU Regulation 883/2004. It must therefore always be checked first whether it is such a case of application.
The FSIO (BSV) has published various forms and explanations for the implementation of the Agreement on the Free Movement of Persons CH – EU or CH-EFTA on the following link (available in German, French and Italian): https://sozialversicherungen.admin.ch/de/f/5646
These are to be used if the employer does not have ALPS access. Very useful information on the A1 form and its use can also be found on this site (available in German, French and Italian): https://sozialversicherungen.admin.ch/de/d/18159/download. These explanations alone show that the form is not only used for one but for various purposes. From the employer’s point of view, the most common are secondments and the determination and confirmation of social security subordination for ordinary activities in several countries.
When does the company need an A1 for teleworking?
(The requirements for the application of the CH-EU or CH-EFTA Agreement on the Free Movement of Persons must be met – nationality and country of employment. Special cases such as civil servants etc. are not included in these explanations).
- If an employee is posted to the EU (for CH-EU nationalities and states) or EFTA (for CH-EFTA nationalities and states) for 100% teleworking (max. 2 years). This can also be a short-term posting for the holiday destination (now explained in margin nos. 2033 and 2034 of the WVP).
This posting is applied for with the competent compensation fund office of the employer who is posting the employee.
- Case: Employees (self-employed, only one employer in Switzerland, no travelling outside Switzerland/EU or Switzerland/EFTA) may regularly work from home, e.g. 1/5 (=20%) of their working hours (in the EU or EFTA country of residence <25%).
In this case, companies also require an A1 confirming social security status in Switzerland from 1 July 2023 at the latest.
This is explained in detail in the chapter of the WVP 3.2 Procedure for persons who usually work in several countries. This A1 must be applied for in the country of residence.
Extract from margin no. 2054 WVP (free translation): Anyone who habitually pursues an economic activity in the territory of two or more countries must inform the competent authority of their country of residence (Art. 16 para. 1 Vo 987/2009).
Further details can be found in margin nos. 2054 to 2060.
Information on the question of whether the person is habitually employed in several countries can be found in margin no. 2020.
The link to the relevant contacts in the EU, EFTA and UK for issuing an A1 is included in the explanatory notes to the A1 (see above): https://europa.eu/youreurope/citizens/work/unemployment-and-benefits/social-security-forms/contact_points_pd_a1.pdf
- Case: Employees (only one employer in Switzerland, no travelling outside Switzerland/EU or Switzerland/EFTA) may, for example, work 2/5 (=40%) of their working hours from home (in the EU or EFTA country of residence >=25% and <50%).
In this case, it must first be clarified whether the country of residence has also signed the framework agreement on teleworking. If this is the case and the other requirements are met, an A1 for cross-border teleworking can be applied for from the employer’s competent compensation fund office.
Procedure Special case: Cross-border teleworking (free translation)
Margin no. 2053.2 WVP
If teleworking of less than 50% of the working time is usually performed in the country of residence, the employee may remain subject to teleworking in the country of the employer’s registered office on the basis of the agreement. In the case of habitual teleworking in the country of residence of less than 25% of working hours, the procedure is to be carried out in accordance with margin no. 2020 et seq. and for the procedure in accordance with margin no. 2054 et seq.
Margin no. 2053.4 WVP
In order for the teleworking agreement to apply to an employee, the Swiss employer must apply to the compensation office for an A1 certificate (if necessary via ALPS). This is valid for a maximum of 3 years and can be reapplied for. The A1 certificate is generally valid from the date of application, but can be issued retroactively for up to three months. However, it can be issued retroactively from 1 July 2023 for applications submitted by the end of June 2024. The requirements must be checked in detail. It is worth consulting the entire chapter 3.1.4 Special case: Cross-border teleworking with margin numbers 2052 to 2053.4.
In the webinar Telework and social security subordination on 9.4.2024 from 10.00 to 12.00 AM Swiss time, I will explain more in detail the limitations and consequences with regard to social security coverage.
Link to more details and registration: https://www.zulaufgmbh.ch/en/kurse/telework-and-social-security-subordination/