Workers moving within the European Union: social security contributions

Cross-border workers

Under EU law (Article 1(f) of Regulation (EC) No 883/2004), a cross-border worker is a person who works in one EU State and resides in another Member State to which he or she returns in principle every day or at least once a week.

Cross-border worker working as an employed person in Italy

If the worker works for an employer (Italian or foreign) operating in Italy, social security contributions must be paid in Italy in accordance with the rules applicable to employees.

Cross-border worker working as a self-employed person in Italy

If the worker is self-employed on Italian territory, social security contributions must be paid in Italy. The amount and procedure is determined by Italian legislation on self-employed workers.

Relevant legislation

  • Regulation (EC) No 883/2004, Article 1(f)

Posted workers

Workers sent for a maximum period of 24 months by their employer to another EU country are still insured, for social security purposes, in their country of origin if all the conditions of posting, as provided for by EU legislation, are met. Self-employed workers, who normally carry out their activity in an EU country, may also go to another EU country to continue an activity similar to that carried out in their country of origin for a period not exceeding 24 months.

Worker posted from Italy to an EU country

An employed or self-employed person who is posted by Italy to an EU country is still insured for social security purposes in the country of origin, provided that all the conditions laid down by Community law are met. Social security contributions must be paid in Italy throughout the period of posting (up to 24 months or for a longer period if the request for extension is accepted).

Relevant legislation

  • Articles 12 and 16 of Regulation (EC) No 883/2004
  • Articles 14 and 18 of Regulation (EC) No 987/2009

Workers working in two or more EU countries

Under Community rules, workers may be employed and/or self-employed in two or more EU countries. In such cases, a single social security legislation must apply to workers and social security contributions must be paid in only one Community State, as if all the activities were pursued in that State.

Workers in the situation described above must inform the social security institution of the country in which they reside of their employment situation so that it can be determined which social security legislation is to be applied, on the basis of the criteria laid down by Community legislation.

Relevant legislation

  • Article 13 of Regulation (EC) No 883/2004
  • Articles 14 and 16 of Regulation (EC) No 987/2009

Certificate relating to the social security legislation applicable to the worker. Portable Document A1

Portable Document A1 is used to certify which social security legislation applies to a worker moving to one or more EU countries for work purposes. In essence, that document sets out in which State the social security contributions are to be paid.

Portable Document A1 is issued by the social security institution of the country whose legislation applies.

The form remains valid until the expiry date specified therein or until it is withdrawn by the issuing institution.

How to request Portable Document A1 for posted workers

For an employee, Portable Document A1 for posting or extension of posting must be requested online by the employer/social security agent via the procedure in the New Web Facilitation Portal accessible to authorised employers or their advisers, with SPID, CIE, CNS or INPS PIN credentials.

The local INPS office to which the request must be sent is the one with which the employer is registered.

The applicant will be informed that the application has been finalised by email and/or text message, at the respective address and mobile telephone number indicated in the application.
A copy of Portable Document A1 will be sent to the applicant via certified email (PEC) or email.

How to request Portable Document A1 for posted self-employed workers

The request must be submitted by the worker.

To apply for Portable Document A1, Form E412 'Request for certificate of applicable legislation (A1)' is available online.

The local office of the National Social Security Institution (INPS) to which the request must be sent is the one in which the worker is registered. The request may be made by hand, by certified email (PEC) or by registered letter with a form for acknowledgement of receipt.

The applicant will be informed that the application has been finalised by email and/or text message at the address and mobile telephone number indicated in the application. A copy of the Portable Document A1 will be sent to the applicant via PEC or email.

How to request Portable Document A1 for workers working in two or more EU countries

A worker who resides in Italy and works in Italy and in one or more EU countries must submit an application for the issue of Portable Document A1.

If you are resident in another EU country, the Portable Document application must be submitted to the welfare institution of the place of residence.

To apply for Portable Document A1, Form E412 'Request for certificate of applicable legislation (A1)' is available online.

The local INPS office to which the request must be sent is the office local to the worker's residence or place of registration (in the case of a self-employed person). The request may be made by hand, by certified email (PEC) or by registered letter with a form for acknowledgement of receipt.

The applicant will be informed that the application has been finalised by email and/or text message, sent to the address and mobile telephone number indicated in the application respectively. A copy of the Portable Document A1 will be sent to the applicant via PEC or email.

Applications that can currently be submitted online are:

  • seafarer (Article 11(4) of Regulation (EC) No 883/2004);
  • posted employee (Article 12 (1) of Regulation (EC) No 883/2004);
  • agreement providing for an exception for the posting of employees (Article 16 of Regulation (EC) No 883/2004)

The authority responsible for the procedure is the INPS (email contacts: Info.DiResCo@inps.it; Supporto.DiReSco@inps.it)

The procedure is being developed to allow the online submission of other applications for the issue of form A1 for all the cases envisaged.


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