Social security treaties: What’s it all about?

Bilateral treaties among countries are quite usual. But what does it mean when they are social security related? And which link do they have with remote work after all?

Gonzalo Corrales Cortés

What is a social security treaty?

A social security treaty is an agreement between two countries which establishes a common framework to coordinate social security schemes. Thanks to these treaties, it is possible to eliminate dual social security coverage as well as to address issues such as the payment of social security taxes and the transfer of benefits between countries.  

The effects of the treaty materialize once a document is issued by the home country’s authorities. This document (A1 or CoC depending on the country) is the proof of the employee paying social security in their home country and being already covered by that country’s social security scheme.


What is the risk of no social security treaty between countries? How does this impact remote workers?

If there is no social security treaty in place between two countries, employees may end up paying social security premiums in two (or more) countries for the same work and also they might miss the benefits they have earned during the time they have been working from different countries. In other words, the existence of these treaties are a relief from a compliance point of view, the lack of them may be a headache.

In practice, when an employee works remotely from another (destination) country and there is no agreement in place, significant challenges arise. For instance, in addition to the mentioned above, the talent and the employer could culminate in contributing to the destination country's social security system by paying social security premiums.

All in all, in the ongoing new reality of remote work, understanding the nuances of social security agreements is crucial for both employers and employees. This requires certain awareness of the potential consequences and the importance of always being provided with documents like the A1 or CoC.  

Your employees undoubtedly love the freedom to go on workations! To avoid compliance risks, we highly recommend implementing a workation management process. Book a demo with WorkFlex today to see how we can help you streamline this process and mitigate potential risks.

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