On 20 November, the European Parliament’s
Committee on Employment and Social Affairs approved a modernised system of
social security coordination. The new regulations are intended to strengthen
the rights of around 14 million mobile workers, as well as the unemployed and economically
inactive people. However, the Committee only partially took up the proposals of
the EU Commission and instead introduced amendments that many MEPs outside the
committee disagree with.
The full text of the report is available here.
See also the positions taken by the German National
Association of Statutory Health Insurance Funds (GKV-Spitzenverband) and the German
Social Accident Insurance (DGUV) from 2017.
The Member States continue to be
responsible for their national social security systems and their rules on
benefits and contributions. However, the coordination arrangements ensure the
portability of social entitlements and benefits across national borders and that
mobile citizens are not disadvantaged in terms of their social security rights.
general, cooperation between Member States is to be improved through new
provisions to speed up the exchange of information and prevent errors and
abuses. The aim is to close loopholes which allow fraudulent ‘letterbox’
companies to send their workers to other EU countries and to prevent the illegal
authorisation of posted workers.
Postings should be a maximum of 18 months (an
initial 12-month term with a possible extension of six months). The amended provision
requires posted workers to be subject to the legislation of the Member State where
the employer is established for a period of at least three months before the date
of posting in order to receive benefits in the Member State where their
employer is established.
The non-replacement clause in Regulation
883/2004, which prevents a person from being sent to replace another posted
worker or another posted self-employed worker, should be deleted. Instead, the
proposal foresees that the cumulative duration of the sending periods should be
taken into account in the case of a replacement of posted workers. Furthermore,
after reaching the maximum duration of posting, workers or self-employed
persons should not be able to be posted by the same companies to the same
Member State until three months after the last posting period.
For portable A1 documents, the forwarding
period granted to the issuing institution to provide the requesting institution
with all necessary evidence will be increased from 20 working days, as proposed
by the Commission, to 25 working days.
area of unemployment benefits, frontier and cross-border workers should be able
to choose whether they would like to receive benefits from the Member State of
residence or from the Member State of last work activity. In addition, the
period for exporting unemployment benefits should be increased from three to six
months, with a possible extension until the entitlement to benefits expire.
This makes it easier for an unemployed person to find a job in the other EU
benefits for persons who stop working to raise a child should be distinguished
from other family benefits and considered as personal benefits for the parent
concerned. Eastern European workers who leave their children in their home
country should also receive the same family benefits as workers who pay their
taxes and social security contributions in their respective EU countries.
Long-term care benefits
field of long-term care benefits, the Committee agreed with provisions to avoid
any gaps in protection for those concerned and to provide legal clarity and
transparency. Long-term care benefits for insured persons and their family
members should, in principle, continue to be coordinated according to the rules
governing sickness benefits. The updated rules take into account the specificities
of long-term care benefits and the needs of both economically inactive and
basis of the Committee report, the majority of MEPs approved a mandate in
plenary on 11 December 2018 to enter into a trilogue negotiation with the
Council and the EU Commission.