Cross-border employment: social security not affected

There is no change in social security when working from home due to corona measures.

The European rules (Reg 883/2004) stipulate that the social security of the country of residence applies if one works substantially in the country of residence (at least 25%). Because of the corona measures many more people are working from home. As a result, a cross-border worker may become substantially employed in his country of residence, while this is not currently the case. However, the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany have confirmed that any extra working from home as a result of the corona measures has no consequences for the social security position of cross-border workers.

The Netherlands

Working from home does not affect your social insurance if you normally live or work across the border in the EU, EEA or Switzerland. You do not need to arrange anything else for this. If the measures regarding the coronavirus take longer, further policies may be published on the SVB website (only in Dutch).


The federal government of Belgium has made a decision about frontier workers (for employees and the self-employed) who 'teleworking'. Working from home because of corona falls under teleworking. Periods of teleworking performed by frontier workers on Belgian territory as a result of the coronavirus are not taken into account for the determination of the applicable social security legislation and therefore do not affect the social security position of the frontier worker.

The decision applies from March 13, 2020 and for as long as the Belgian corona measures apply. For the time being, this will be until April 19, 2020.


For employees and self-employed persons who normally work in more than 1 Member State, working from home as a result of the corona measures does not change their social security position. They don't have to take any action.

Different rules apply to employees and self-employed persons who are posted to another Member State. They do not have to do anything if the interruption of the posting lasts not more than 2 months and the end date of the posting does not shift backwards. Otherwise, a new A1 statement must be requested after the interruption of the posting.


When cross border workers work from home in the Netherlands, they may end up with a higher Dutch and a lower host country income tax liability. In general, the salary relating to home workdays is taxable in the Netherlands. The salary relating to the work days spent in the country where the employer (or a permanent establishment of the employer) is established , is taxable in that country. Conversely, cross border workers that are non-Dutch tax residents may end up with a lower Dutch and a higher home country income tax liability.

Non-Dutch tax residents with the 30%-ruling who have to work from home in their home country might also lose a part of the 30%-ruling benefit as it can only be applied on employment income that is taxable in the Netherlands. Their home country will usually not apply a similar benefit. The 183-days rule also plays a role. Meeting or not meeting the 183-days rule - contrary to what is anticipated - will affect the overall tax liability.

All in all, the overall tax liability might change significantly, for both employers and employees and can be either advantageous, or disadvantageous.

Belgium-Luxembourg: Corona measures overrule 24-days rule

The final Protocol of the Belgian-Luxembourg double tax treaty provides for a tolerance rule allowing cross-border workers to exercise their activity for a maximum of 24 days outside his usual State of activity while remaining taxable in this State.

Given the extreme challenges employees and companies are currently facing in combating the coronavirus, the Belgian and Luxembourg authorities consider that the current situation linked to the coronavirus constitutes a case of “force majeure”. Therefore, it was decided that as from Saturday 14 March, the presence of a worker at his home in particular to carry out telework, will not be taken into account in the calculation of the 24-days period.  This measure applies until further notice.

Belgium-France: Frontier workers regime

Frontier workers are employees who are living in the border area of their home country and who are working in the border area of the other country. Based on the Belgian-French frontier workers regime, the salary of employees who are frontier workers remains fully taxable in their home country, even though they are physically working in the border area of the other country.  In principle, there is only taxation in the home country (country of residence of the employee) and thus not in the host country.  While the frontier workers regime was abolished for tax residents of Belgium who work in France, it is still applicable (in a phase-out scenario) for tax residents of France who work in Belgium.

The Belgian and French authorities have decided that as of Saturday 14 March 2020, the presence of a French frontier worker at his place of residence (in particular for teleworking) will not be taken into account for the calculation of this 30-days period.  This measure applies until further notice.

Contact our Corona Crisis Team »

02 April 2020