Individual Taxation

New regulations for the affiliation to social security for cross-border work from home

Standard affiliation rules according to EU Regulation 883/2004

Employees who usually work in multiple countries and perform a substantial part of their work in their country of residence (25% or more) are in principle subject to the social security scheme of their country of residence. This is provided for in the European Regulation on Social Security (EU Regulation 883/2004), which also applies to Switzerland.

In practice, many employers have limited cross-border home office arrangements to keep the remittance obligation to social security in Switzerland.

During the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting traveling restrictions, the EU/EFTA countries and Switzerland interpreted the affiliation rules more flexibly. In principle, arrangements concerning cross-border home office did not affect the social security coverage during this period. However, this special treatment expired on June 30, 2023 after several extensions.

Multilateral agreement (EU/EFTA) effective as of July 1, 2023

In response to the growing demand for home office arrangements, several EU/EFTA countries and Switzerland have signed a multilateral agreement that allows a higher proportion of cross-border home office. Under this agreement, employees can work from their country of residence for up to 49.9 % of their working time without changing the social security coverage. The period under consideration is the following 12 months.

This agreement only applies to employees covered under the Agreement on the Free Movement of Persons with the EU or the EFTA Convention. Consequently, third-country nationals do not benefit from this agreement. Additionally, both the employer’s and the employee’s countries of residence must have signed the multilateral agreement for it to apply. If a country has not signed the agreement, the standard affiliation rules of the EU Regulation 883/2004 apply that allow a maximum of 25% of workdays in the country of residence before the affiliation does change.

The list of eligible countries is updated on an ongoing basis. To date, the following countries have signed the agreement. Italy is the only neighboring country to Switzerland missing so far.

  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Croatia
  • Czech Republic
  • Finland
  • France (re-evaluation after 6 months)
  • Germany
  • Liechtenstein
  • Luxembourg
  • Malta
  • Norway
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Netherlands
  • Slovakia


The multilateral agreement does not apply to the following constellations:

  • Employees who usually perform other activities in their residency country in addition to their home office activity (e.g. regular customer visits, self-employed secondary employment)*
  • Employees who usually work in another EU/EFTA state in addition to the home office in their residency country*
  • Employees who work for additional employers in an EU/EFTA state to the Swiss employer (multiple Swiss employers are not harmful)
  • Employees who work for additional employers in an EU/EFTA state to the Swiss employer (multiple Swiss employers are not harmful)
  • Self-employed individuals
  • Third-country nationals

* Occasional business trips in the residency country or other EU/EFTA states do not impact the application of the agreement. Whether marginal activities (< 5 %) are to be included in the analysis or not is currently unclear.

Necessary steps / transitional arrangements

To apply the multilateral agreement, an application can be filed in the employer’s residency country for an A1 certificate. This certificate is valid for 3 years and can be extended. Retroactive issuance of the certificate can be requested for a maximum period of 3 months.

During the transitional period, applications submitted by June 30, 2024 will be approved retroactively as from July 1, 2023.