On the 1. January 2019, a new obligation for all German employers emerges:
They must ensure that their employees carry a valid A1 employer's certificate on all business trips to other EU countries or Iceland, Norway, Lichtenstein, Switzerland. The employer receives this certificate online from the responsible social insurance institution (health insurance, German pension insurance, etc.). This legal regulation also applies to very short stays of the employees in one of the above-mentioned countries, for example, when they drive across the border to refuel their vehicle. Customs officials of the countries concerned are authorized to stop passengers at any time and to request the presentation of the A1 employer's certificate.
Non-compliance with this regulation may result in significant penalties, especially in case of recurrence. In addition to a fine, the employer may be required in the other country to pay social security contributions.
It has not yet been definitively clarified how often these A1 employer's certificates should be applied for and renewed.
Upcoming facilitation of the business trips regulation
According to information from the Federation of German Independent Professionals, the European Parliament and the European Council have reached a political agreement on 19.03.2019 on the modernization of social systems. According to it, no A1 certificates will be necessary for business trips. The European Council and the European Parliament still have to formally adopt this agreement. It is expected that this will take place during this legislative period, before the EU elections. Until then, the current regulations continue to apply. For longer-term business stays abroad in the EU the A1 certificate will be required even after the change has been accepted.