Social security coverage for posted workers

You are entitled to social security coverage during your posting, if you are posted by your Finnish employer to another EU or EEA country or Switzerland. The employment contract with the sending employer must remain in force during the posting. You must be entitled to social security coverage in Finland already before the posting.

If you work as an aid worker abroad, the development aid project in which you are involved must be one which is either funded by appropriations in the State budget or which the Finnish government otherwise participates in through an involvement in the activity of an international organization.

Workers posted to an EU or EEA country or Switzerland must together with their employer apply for a certificate A1 with the Finnish Centre for Pensions before the departure. With the certificate, you can show that you are entitled to social security coverage in Finland. When necessary, present the certificate for the authorities in your country of employment or the company that pays your wage.

The Finnish Centre for Pensions informs Kela directly of the A1 certificate. Through the certificate, you retain your right to Kela benefits.

Example

A Finnish employer posts Kaisa, who is covered under the Finnish social security system, first to Germany for five months and then to Italy for an additional one year. Kaisa needs the Finnish Centre for Pensions to provide her with an A1 certificate for both countries.

Workers posted to other countries

Employees who are posted to some other country than an EU or EEA country or Switzerland for a maximum of 6 months usually retain the right to Kela benefits.

Posted workers whose posting continues for more than 6 months must together with the employer notify Kela about the posting at the latest in connection with the return to Finland. You are entitled to social security coverage and Kela benefits if you were entitled to social security coverage immediately before the posting. Your nationality or whether you were employed by the same employer before the posting are not significant.

When you work abroad, you are entitled to social security coverage and Kela benefits for a maximum of 5 years. If you have worked abroad for 5 years, you must return to Finland for at least 6 months in order to be entitled to social security coverage and Kela benefits during a new posting abroad. The same time limits apply to missionary workers and aid workers.

If a Finnish employer hires a person covered under the Finnish social security system who lives abroad to work abroad, the employee is still entitled to coverage under the Finnish social security system. The employer must notify Kela about this. However, persons hired to work for a foreign parent company, subsidiary or affiliate of a Finnish employer are not entitled to social security coverage in Finland.

Transitional rules

If you are working abroad as a posted worker or as a missionary worker or aid worker when the change in legislation takes effect on 1 April 2019 and you have received a decision on the entitlement to social security coverage in Finland for the period of work abroad, your entitlement to Kela benefits is retained as long as the decision is valid.

Example

Lotta is sent by her Finnish employer to Japan for a four-year posting at a Japanese subsidiary. Lotta retains her coverage under the Finnish social security system during the posting because she was covered before the posting and she returns to Finland regularly for holidays during her residence abroad. However, if Lotta lived in Japan and looked for work there at the same subsidiary, she would no longer be entitled to social security coverage and Kela benefits.

Workers posted to a country that has a social security agreement with Finland are entitled to social security coverage in Finland as regards the social security benefits that the agreement concerns even if the posting lasts for more than 6 months. In respect of other social security benefits, your social security rights are determined in the same way as those of persons working in a country without a social security agreement with Finland.

The Finnish Centre for Pensions determines whether you are entitled to the benefits covered by the agreement during the posting. Kela determines whether you are entitled to the benefits that are not covered by the agreement. The Finnish Centre for Pensions grants you a certificate of posting proving your eligibility for social security benefits in Finland. The certificate will help you avoid paying social security contributions in two countries.