Social Security

The social security scheme is subject to the national legislation of each individual country. In the EU, the EEA, and Switzerland, the national social security scheme of individual member countries are not harmonised, but merely coordinated. In some cases, coordination replaces national rules that are disadvantageous for migrating citizens. The principles of posting of employees and self-employed persons who are EU citizens to another EU country are governed by Regulation (EC) No 883/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 29 April 2004 on the coordination of social security schemes.

In countries outside the EU, the EEA, and Switzerland, social security schemes are mostly regulated by international social security agreements, which usually have the form of bilateral agreements between two countries. The main purpose of the international agreements is to coordinate the social security schemes of the signatories and safeguard the individuals’ entitlement to social security benefits as people travel across countries, whether for tourism or employment reasons. At the same time, these agreements focus on describing the principle of accumulation of the periods of insurance in individual countries.

Example

I am a production manager of theatre performances with a trade licence in the Czech Republic. What should I do if I am going to work as a self-employed person to Israel?

Social security outside the EU, the EEA, and Switzerland

If you terminate your self-employment activity in the Czech Republic, you will cease to be subject to the applicable Czech legislation and you are obliged to announce this fact to the relevant District Social Security Administration (OSSZ), which will then deregister you from the social security scheme in the Czech Republic. Afterwards you should register in the social security scheme in the country in which you resume your self-employment activities, in this case Israel. Since a bilateral social security agreement exists between Israel and the Czech Republic, you will follow the agreement. You also have the option to register for voluntary    participation in the state pension scheme in the Czech Republic.

Example

I am an artist paying social security contributions as a self-employed person in the Czech Republic. Do I have to continue paying these contributions if I am leaving to work in Belgium? What are my duties towards OSSZ?

Social security in the EU, the EEA, and Switzerland

If you are going to pursue self-employment activities in a Member State of the EU or the EEA or in Switzerland,  which is the case of Belgium, you will be subject to the social security legislation of the particular Member State (the country is determined according to the place of your business) according to the Regulation (EC) No 883/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council.

As a general rule, the social security coverage of an independent (self-employed) artist or an employee is subject to the legislation of just one Member State. Like all mobile workers, you are subject to the laws of the country in which you are actually employed or self-employed.

If, however, you perform temporary work in another EU Member State for no longer than 24 months, you should be insured in the social security scheme of your country of origin (in this case in the Czech Republic). The principle of posting applies here: If an employee is sent by his/her employer for a temporary job to another Member State, this is referred to as posting; a self-employed person can post himself or herself (self-posting). The principle of posting applies to activities in another EU country for a period of up to 24 months  In such case, you have to contact the competent social security authority at your place of residence at least 30 days before your departure, requesting the issuance of the A1 Form that you will take with you as a proof of social security coverage in one of the EU Member States.

If you intend to stay for more than 24 months, you will be subject to the social security legislation of the country of your destination (in this case Belgium) from the first day.

You will have to deregister from the relevant OSSZ in the Czech Republic and register at a similar institution in Belgium. While working in Belgium, you will be subject to the social security legislation of the country where you perform the work (i.e. you will pay contributions to the social security scheme of Belgium pursuant to the Belgian legislation.)