Social security when working in another EU country

Published by:
Netherlands Enterprise Agency, RVO
Netherlands Enterprise Agency, RVO
Checked 7 Jun 2023
3 min read
Nederlandse versie

Are you or is your employee going to work in an EU country other than the Netherlands? Or in more than one EU countries? In some cases, you are still covered by the social security system in the Netherlands.

What are social insurances?

Social insurance (employee and national insurance) provides income in the event of unemployment, retirement, disease, death, or incapacity for work.

Are you an employer? Then you pay your employees' social insurances to the Dutch Tax and Customs Administration (Belastingdienst).

Are you a self-employed professional? Then you pay the national insurance contributions in the Netherlands through your income tax.

In which country do you pay social insurance?

Do you or your employee work in another EU country or in several EU countries? Then you only pay social insurance contributions in 1 country. In which country this is, depends on how long you or your employee work abroad.

Self-employed professionals

Working abroad permanently

Are you a self-employed professional and are you going to work permanently outside the Netherlands? Then you are covered by the social security system of the country where you work. You are no longer covered by the social security in the Netherlands.

Working abroad temporarily

Are you going to work abroad temporarily (secondment or posting)? Then you usually remain covered by the social insurance system in the Netherlands if:

  • you work in the EU or the EEA (in Belgium you will need a Limosa-1 declaration)
  • you have worked for at least 2 months as a self-employed professional in the Netherlands
  • you will be doing the same work abroad as you do in the Netherlands
  • you pay social security premiums to the Dutch Tax and Customs Administration
  • you are a national of or you are in possession of a residence permit for an EU or EEA country

Are you an artist residing in the Netherlands and do you sometimes perform abroad (in an EU country or a treaty country)? Then you will remain insured in the Netherlands if you comply with the conditions for performing artists.

Working in 2 or more EU countries

Will you be working in 2 or more EU countries as a self-employed professional? You must report to the organisation responsible for implementing social security. In the Netherlands this is the Sociale Verzekeringsbank (SVB). You are insured in your country of residence if you:

  • spend 25% or more of your time working in that country
  • or provide 25% or more of your services in that county
  • receive at least 25% of your income from that country

Do you work less than 25% of your time in the country where you live? Then you are covered by the social security system in the country in which the centre of interest of your activities is situated.


Employee works abroad for an indefinite period

Will your employee be working abroad for an indefinite period of time? In that case your employee pays social insurances premiums in the country they work in. You do not have to pay these premiums in the Netherlands.

Employees works abroad temporarily

Will your employee work temporarily abroad (posting or secondment)? In general, they will be insured in the Netherlands.

Employee works in more than 1 EU country

If your employee works in more than 1 EU country, it is not always obvious where your employee is insured. This has to do with the number of hours your employee works, the country they reside in, the number of employers they have, or where the employers are established.

Does your company transport people or goods to countries within the EU or the EEA? And are your employees for instance international drivers, flight or cabin crew, or Rhine boatsmen? In most cases your employees will be insured in the Netherlands.

A1 certificate

Will you or your employee be working in 1 or more EU countries? You will have to apply for an A1 certificate (certificate of coverage). With an A1 certificate you can demonstrate in which country you or your employee is insured. This is also the case when a self-employed professional temporarily works in another country, while their company remains based in their own country. In some countries you are not allowed to work without an A1/certificate. You may be fined by the local labour authority.

How to apply for the A1 certificate

Do you work as a self-employed professional or (performing) artist? You can apply for the A1 certificate yourself. If you are an employer, you have to apply for your employee.

The EU offers an overview on Health Insurance and other Social Security matters when moving within the EU.

Rules and regulations for non-EU countries

In some cases, the rules and regulations outlined above also apply to the countries of the European Economic Area (EEA) and in countries which have concluded bilateral or multilateral treaties on social security. For further information, please contact the social security institution in your country. In the Netherlands, this is the Social Insurance Bank (Sociale Verzekeringsbank, SVB).

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