In 2019, significantly more A1 certificates
have been issued by social security institutions than ever before. Whereas in
previous years the figure was around 1.7 million certificates per year, in 2019
the "PD (Portable Document) A1" form was issued around 4.6 million
times. Germany recorded the highest increase. The German Social Insurance
institutions issued 1.8 million PD A1s. Poland ranks second with around 650,000
cases. These figures are taken from the recent "Posting of workers" report by the HIVA -
Research Institute for Work and Society at the University of Leuven.
The coordination law revision has been "stalled"
The figures do not necessarily reflect an
increase in postings or employment in other EU countries. It is more likely
that the forms are being requested more often these days. One reason is the
ongoing discussion on the still unfinished revision of the Social Security Coordination
Regulations 883/2004 and 987/2009. The discussion about the exemption
definitions for the previous application for PD A1 has become the bone of
contention here. The revision has so far failed on the question of in which
cases should a PD A1 be applied for in advance, even if it is only for short
business trips to other EU countries. And a solution is still not in sight.
This obligation to apply is to be taken seriously
Another reason is a change in legislation
in some member states. France or Austria, for instance, have clarified their
rules on combating illegal employment and threaten to impose fines if no A1
certificate can be presented. Both of these factors appear to have increased
employers' awareness of their obligations in this regard. In the past, the
approach to applying for A1 was much more casual, especially for short business
and official trips.
Deployments account for the majority of A1
The lion's share of A1 certification is
made up of deployment cases under Article 12 of Regulation 883/2004 (3.2
million cases). 1.3 million forms have been issued based on Article 13
("pursuit of activities in two or more member states"). In most
member states, more PD A1s are issued due to deployment cases. There are also
countries where it is the other way round: In Poland, about 60 percent of all
PD A1s issued are motivated by Article 13. The situation is similar in Cyprus
or the Czech Republic.