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HMRC have recently issued an update to their guidance to employers with employees working in the EU or Switzerland.
Employees who leave the UK to work in the EU or Switzerland only pay into one country’s social security scheme at a time. So which country do they pay to? Usually, workers will pay social security contributions in the country they are working in. Employers’ liability to pay social security contributions follows the liability of the employee concerned.
With a certificate, it is possible to continue to pay social security in the UK, even if the employee is working in the EU or Switzerland. The UK has social security agreements with the EU and Switzerland. Part of the agreement is that National Insurance continues to be payable in the UK (and not the other country) if HMRC has issued the relevant certificate. The reason why you would want to apply for the certificate is that UK National Insurance Contributions are generally lower than the Social Security costs in most European countries.
The certificate can be used as evidence that the worker does not need to pay social security contributions in the country they are working in, and generally applies for up to 2 years.
The individual or their employer can apply for a certificate. To apply for a certificate of continuing liability, follow the link below, which will take you to the relevant form. You can apply if the non-UK country has a social security agreement with the UK and you’re:
- An employer sending employees to work temporarily.
- Self-employed in the UK and will be self-employed in that country. See: Apply for a certificate of continuing liability for National Insurance – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
There are similar procedures for individuals working in Iceland, Liechtenstein, or Norway.
HMRC have also updated their guidance on workers from the above countries coming to the UK. The guidance helps workers and employers check if they should pay National Insurance in the UK or social security contributions in the EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, or Switzerland. See:
Social security contributions for workers coming to the UK from the EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, or Switzerland – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk).