COVID-19: EU cross-border workers’ rights guaranteed

COVID-19 – Situation of cross-border workers – Press release issued by Mme Muriel Pénicaud, Minister of Labour, and Mme Amélie de Montchalin, Minister of State for European Affairs, attached to the Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs

Paris, 19 March 2020

With controls having been stepped up at the borders in coordination with our neighbouring countries, the Minister of Labour and the Minister of State for European Affairs, attached to the Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, have received assurances from their respective counterparts that the special situation of the many cross-border workers will be fully taken into account by their authorities and that their rights will be guaranteed in the exceptional period we are experiencing.

1) Movement of cross-border workers

The Interior Minister’s general instructions apply to cross-border workers. Cross-border workers who carry out activities that cannot be done remotely can go to their workplaces. They will be authorized to cross the borders. Specific measures have been taken to facilitate border crossings. In particular, permanent authorizations issued by the employer or specific passes granted by the national authorities may be issued.

2) Rights and social protection

In general, cross-border workers’ employment contracts are maintained and all the related rights and protections guaranteed.

In the event of a preventive measure being taken by a company asking a French cross-border worker not to go to their workplace, the full salary will be maintained.

The employer must allow the cross-border employee to enjoy the same arrangements as other employees when it comes to the opportunity to work from home.

In the event of the company triggering part-time working arrangements, the border employee will also be able to benefit from them, like other employees.

When benefits to compensate for childcare – because of the closing of reception facilities – exist in the State where the activity is carried out, cross-border workers benefit from these in the same way.

An increase in the amount of time spent on French territory due to more home working (usually restricted to 25%) will have no impact on social security cover: cross-border employees will continue to be covered by the social security system of the State in which they work.

Finally, as regards tax measures, France has reached an agreement with Germany, Belgium, Switzerland and Luxembourg to ensure that keeping cross-border workers at home does not have any repercussions on the tax regime which applies to them in this situation of force majeure.

The State services, embassies and consular services are mobilized to ensure that these safeguards are implemented./.

Published on 20/03/2020

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