People looking at the EU card - A1 certificate (Payroll Belgium)

The A1 certificate of coverage for social security – solution for European employment

Within the EU, it is very easy for employees to work in one or multiple other countries than their home country. From a social security point of view, such situations are treated under the EU Regulation 883/2004 in order to ensure that the employee remains subject to one social security system. Such an employment situation may lead to the requirement of a specific form.

If you have an employee working in multiple countries or who is temporarily seconded abroad, you will need to apply for an A1 certificate.


What is an A1 certificate ?


Within the European Economic Area (EEA), an individual can only be subject to one country’s social security system. As a rule, the employee is subject to the social security of the country where he works (“work state principle”). This rule can be derogated from in the event of:


  1. a temporary posting from the employee’s home country to another country (under the conditions of the EU Regulation 883/2004);
  2. a simultaneous employment in multiple countries.


The certificate of coverage for social security  is a mandatory document in such cross-border situations to prove towards the authority of the country where the employee works which member state is competent from a social security point of view.


This certificate  has to be applied for in the country where the employee pays social security contributions before the start of international employment. The employer is responsible to apply for a A1 certificate for the employee.


Without a valid A1 certificate, foreign inspection authorities can subject the employee to their local social security system. Moreover, most countries impose high fines for not having an A1 certificate.


When do I need an A1 certificate from the Belgian social security authorities?


If your employee is subject to the Belgian social security system and is seconded to another EEA member state (or the UK), or if your employee works in different member states simultaneously (while remaining subject to Belgian social security based on EU Regulation 883/2004), you must apply for a Belgian A1 certificate.

Please note that different rules apply if your employee travels outside the EEA.


How can I apply for a Belgian A1 certificate?

Rubber stamp-CE marking - A1 certificate (Payroll Belgium)


You can apply for a Belgian A1 certificate via the website of the Belgian social security authorities, but this can be complicated, especially for foreign employers.


Pro-Pay can assist you in filing the A1 certificate. If you are looking for advice for your employee’s specific international employment situation, Pro-Pay can also assist you in this regard. You can use the contact sheet to reach out to them.

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