As we have noted previously, many countries have introduced creative new approaches to address the economic realities of the COVID-19 pandemic. Because employees continue to work from home and employers reconsider whether employees must return to the workplace at all, jurisdictions have implemented – and now are extending – measures to accommodate the needs and interests of both employers and employees in this ever-changing and evolving employment environment.
As we have highlighted, Luxembourg is an example of a country that has sought to develop solutions with its neighboring nations to ease the economic burden of the COVID-19 pandemic on workers. Because working from home in a neighboring country can affect workers’ social security standing, Luxembourg entered into amicable agreements with Belgium, France and Germany regarding social security affiliation for cross-border workers who are teleworking. Under the relevant agreements, days that workers telework due to the COVID-19 crisis are not taken into account when determining the social security legislation applicable to cross-border workers in these countries. As such, teleworking will not influence workers’ social security standing in these four jurisdictions.
Luxembourg’s social security affiliation agreements with Belgium, Germany and France initially were in effect until December 31, 2020, but now have been extended until June 30, 2021. This is a clear indication that certain governments acknowledge that the COVID-19 pandemic’s effect on the employment relationship will continue for at least another six months.
Epstein Becker & Green continues to monitor workforce management issues in the US and abroad.