Social security coverage for employees and self-employed persons

Employees and self-employed persons who stay in an EU or EEA country or Switzerland are usually covered under the social security system of the country of employment regardless of the duration of the employment or their country of residence. You will be covered under the social security system of the country of employment if your employment meets the minimum requirements regarding, for instance, working hours and pay. The requirements vary from country to country.

Persons working in an EU or EEA country or in Switzerland are normally entitled to the same social security coverage and the same benefits as nationals of the country of employment. Your family members may also be entitled to family benefits (e.g. child benefit) in your country of employment, irrespective of their country of residence. Read more about the payment of benefits.

Example

Anna from Finland signs an open-ended contract of employment with a Danish company and moves to Denmark. Her family stays behind in Finland. Anna becomes covered under the Danish social security system since her employment in Denmark meets the minimum requirements regarding the terms of employment in Denmark.

Child benefit from Denmark can be paid for Anna's children, but in other respects the family is covered under the Finnish social security system. The father stays behind in Finland, and if he works in Finland, child benefit may be paid from both Denmark and Finland.

The coverage under the social security system of persons who work in some other country than an EU or EEA country or Switzerland is determined on the basis of the duration and purpose of the stay abroad. During a period of employment that lasts for a maximum of one year you will remain covered under the Finnish social security system. Persons who work abroad for more than one year will no longer be covered under the Finnish social security system without a specific reason.

You can be covered under the social security system of the country of employment if you meet the requirements in that country. Please note that not all countries have similar social security systems as that in Finland. Check your right to possible coverage under the social security system in your country of stay.

Persons who work in some other country than an EU or EEA country or Switzerland and who are covered under the Finnish social security system may also be covered under the social security system of the country of employment. Always check beforehand the requirements for coverage under the social security system with the authorities in the country of employment.

Example

Ville goes to work for 9 months in South Africa. He is joined by his family. Ville and his family will be eligible for Finnish social security, because their residence abroad will last less than one year. This means that they will be eligible for those Kela benefits that are payable abroad. Benefits not payable abroad include the general housing allowance and the child home care allowance.

If Ville's family were to move to South Africa on a permanent basis, their coverage in Finland would end effective with their date of moving from Finland.

Persons who work in a country that has a social security agreement with Finland should check the relevant social security agreement. The coverage under the social security system is usually determined on the basis of the duration of the stay abroad and the benefits that the social security agreement concerns. (linkki sivulle, jolla kerrotaan lyhyesti sosiaaliturvasopimusmaista).

Short-term employment abroad

Persons who work abroad for a very short period or in low-paid jobs (e.g. trainees and au pairs) will not necessarily become covered under the social security system of the country of employment. Short-term employment and low-paid jobs usually do not meet the minimum requirements regarding the terms of employment. In such cases you may remain covered under the Finnish social security system if you are considered to be permanently resident in Finland.

Persons who stay abroad temporarily and who are covered under the Finnish health insurance system will receive a European Health Insurance Card from Kela. You will be entitled to medical treatment in other EU and EEA countries and Switzerland if you have a European Health Insurance Card. (Linkki ehicistä kertovalle sivulle)