What is the Certificate of Coverage about?
As soon as an employee travels for business reasons to another country of the European Union or the European Free Trade Association (EU/EFTA states; in addition to Switzerland these are the EU states, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway), he must carry a Certificate of Coverage according to the national social security law of Switzerland.
This certifies that the coordination rules applicable between Switzerland and the EU/EFTA states apply to the traveller and that the holder only has to pay social security contributions in the country that issued the certificate.
Important: in the Social Security Act, this refers to the posted person. Even a business traveller who travels to another EU/EFTA country for one day is considered as a posted worker.
When is a Certificate of Coverage required?
A Certificate of Coverage is mandatory for each individual posting. If a business trip takes place for only one day, e.g. to France and then to the Netherlands, two Certificates of Coverage are necessary.
An exception exists if the traveler travels regularly over a period of 12 months (at least 2 times a month or 5 times a quarter) to one or more EU/EFTA states. In this case, a multi-state certificate can be issued.
What happens if I enter without a Certificate of Coverage?
This is not a good idea. Everyone must comply to the law. Also controls are taking place increasingly in many EU/EFTA states. Failure to comply with the Certificate of Coverage rules can lead to considerable consequences. In addition to fines, access to the company or exhibition grounds may be refused or social security contributions may be collected immediately in accordance with the law of the travel destination country. On top the insurance can refuse to pay benefits if an accident occurs during the stay abroad.
What are the employer's tasks?
When sending an employee – this also applies to business travellers - to another EU/EFTA country the employer is required (duty of care) to apply for a Certificate of Coverage and to inform the traveller. The employer has the possibility to provide the employee with a process of applying for the Certificate of Coverage.
What are the employee's duties?
The employee is obliged to carry the Certificate of Coverage during the stay abroad.
Who issues the Certificate of Coverage?
The compensation funds (Ausgleichskassen) issue the Certificate of Coverage. The application process can be simplified by technology-based solutions of the DVKG Deutsche Visa und Konsular Gesellschaft, in particular the proof of the application can be transmitted on tablet or smartphone so that – especially for business trips at short notice – there is no need to wait for the printed document.
How long does it take to issue the Certificate of Coverage?
The processing time is usually up to 3 days. The DVKG Deutsche Visa und Konsular Gesellschaft offers a 24/7 service for urgent business trips at short notice.
Statement Andreas Schneider, Head of Kuoni Business Travel Switzerland
We are pleased to continuously expand our product and service portfolio and to have DVKG as a professional and experienced partner at our side. The topic of A1 certification will become more and more important and we see a great need for information for the Swiss market.