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Seconded Workers

There are many doubts regarding the rights and obligations of posted workers, such as where to pay Social Security contributions.

Seconded workers definition

According to Community Directive 96/71/EC, a worker is considered to be posted when “for a limited period of time, he works in the territory of a Member State other than the State in which he normally pursues his activity”. In other words, workers who, being dependent workers or self-employed, move to another country in order to exercise their activity for a certain period of time fall within the situation of posted workers.

Time limit for posting workers

The law does not indicate any time limit regarding the period during which a worker may be posted. In any case, the law always provides that the posting is of a temporary nature. There is, however, a legal obligation for companies to inform the worker of the anticipated duration of the posting, as well as the currency and place of payment of monetary benefits, conditions for repatriation and access to health care.

 

In which country are the social security contributions due?

As a general rule, workers must pay contributions to the Social Security system in the country in which the service is being provided, however, posting is one of the exceptions to the rule. Therefore, a Portuguese worker seconded to a country such as France, for example, in order to carry out his activity for a certain period of time, will still be subject to Social Security contributions in Portugal.

However, you should note the need to present a certificate proving that the worker is registered in the Social Security system of the country of origin. For this purpose, there is, for example, the A1 certificate, which is valid in the countries of the European Union, the European Economic Area and also in the United Kingdom, as well as for countries with which Portugal has a bilateral agreement or convention for the coordination of social security legislation.

What if you are seconded to Portugal?

If in your case you are taking the opposite path to the one described above, i.e. if you are being seconded to perform your activity in Portugal, you should know that, in order to avoid paying contributions in two countries, you will also have to present a certificate proving your registration in the Social Security system in your country of origin.

If you would like further information, please contact us.