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Cross-Border Remote Work Reinvented: A New EU/EFTA Agreement for a Flexible Future


In a world where remote work has become not just common but essential for maintaining work-life balance, the EU and EFTA are pioneering a new cross-border remote work agreement. With the goal of adapting to our new work reality, this agreement disrupts previous conventions by increasing the amount of time employees can spend working remotely from their country of residence.

Until now, workers could only carry out a certain percentage of their activity from home without impacting their social security rules. Today, a major shift occurs with this new agreement allowing a worker to spend up to 49.9% of their time working remotely from their country of residence while remaining subject to the social security of their employer's country.

Let's take a concrete example: an employee living in Germany but usually working in Switzerland can now perform nearly half of their working time from their German home, while remaining affiliated with Swiss social security. However, if this limit is exceeded, the employee will be subject to the social security of their country of residence.

This increased flexibility in remote work rules has been adopted by several countries including Germany, Austria, Belgium, Estonia, Finland, Hungary, Ireland, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, as well as Switzerland, Liechtenstein, and Norway.

Other countries choosing not to join this new agreement, such as France and Italy, will remain subject to the previous rules, allowing a remote work rate up to 24.9% of total working time.

It is important to note that this communication only concerns social security rules. As for taxation, the agreement of December 22, 2022, concluded by Switzerland and France, for instance, allows cross-border workers to practice remote work up to 40% of their working time without changing the state of income taxation.

This new agreement marks a significant step towards adopting a more flexible approach to work throughout the EU and EFTA, reinforcing the current trend towards a balance between on-site work and remote work. In a world where adaptability has become the key to success, this initiative is a strong signal of a future of work that is increasingly flexible and respectful of individual needs.

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SFD Swisscontrol SA and Fidaction Fisc-Compta SA Team.


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