What is an A1 certificate?
If an employee is posted to work abroad temporarily in an EU/EEA country, Switzerland or Great Britain, they must apply for an A1 certificate from the Finnish Centre for Pensions. The A1 certificate is a free and mandatory document proving that the employee is covered by the social security of the sending country and that all social insurance contributions are paid to the said country. In addition to the countries mentioned above, Finland has social security agreements with several other countries, in which an employee can apply for a certificate similar to the A1 certificate.
Do I need an A1 certificate for all trips regardless of duration?
The duration of your working period abroad is irrelevant, and you should apply for an A1 certificate even for short trips. The current guidelines state that a certificate is needed also for one-day business trips. Previously, the Finnish Centre for Pensions may have stated that a certificate is not required for trips that last under a week.
When should I apply for an A1 certificate?
You should apply for an A1 certificate well before the start of the work, but not more than six months before the work abroad starts. If you have not applied for the certificate beforehand for some reason, you can also apply for it retrospectively. You can apply for the certificate electronically on the Finnish Centre for Pensions’ website.
Who makes the application?
The employer applies for the A1 certificate on behalf of their employee. An employee may apply for the certificate themselves if they have several different employers during their stay abroad. Self-employed persons and grant recipients must apply for the certificate themselves.
Do I need to apply for a new A1 certificate for each trip?
If an employee makes several trips abroad, either to the same country or to several different countries, they do not need to apply for a separate certificate for each trip. If an employee makes several business trips to EU/EEA countries, Switzerland or the UK, the Finnish Centre for Pensions may issue a single certificate for all of these trips. The certificate is issued for a maximum of two years at a time. If an employee works in more than two countries, they can be issued an A1 certificate for their country of permanent residence.
Does an A1 certificate grant me access to medical treatment in my country of destination if I fall ill?
In order to gain access to treatment, you need to have a European Health Insurance Card. An A1 certificate does not replace the European Health Insurance Card. However, having an A1 certificate is a prerequisite for obtaining the card if you move abroad to work. There are also other documents related to the provision of health care in addition to the A1 certificate. You should ask the Social Insurance Institution of Finland (Kela) about these
Do I need an A1 certificate for remote work abroad?
The same rules apply to remote work as to any other kind of work. This means that you should apply for an A1 certificate if you want to do remote work abroad. For social security purposes, what is important is the physical location of the employee, not, for example, whether they work for a Finnish employer or not.
Can anyone obtain an A1 certificate for remote work?
When it comes to remote work, it is worth noting that an employee must have been covered by Finnish social security before they can be issued an A1 certificate. This rule applies to insuring all kind of work abroad. This means that if an employer hires a person from abroad to work remotely for a Finnish company, the Finnish Centre for Pensions will not issue them an A1 certificate. Usually, it has been considered sufficient for a person to have been covered by Finnish social security for at least one month before they can be granted an A1 certificate.
Does it matter whether going abroad was first brought up by the employer or the employee?
For the purposes of being granted an A1 certificate, it is irrelevant whether working remotely abroad was the employee’s or the employer’s idea. However, the employee must have the employer’s consent to work remotely, as the employer applies for the A1 certificate on behalf of the employee. It is also worth noting that an A1 certificate may only be issued if the work abroad is temporary in nature. If an employee is moving abroad permanently, they will not be granted an A1 certificate and they must be insured in their country of work.
Does an employee coming to Finland from abroad need an A1 certificate?
If an employer is hiring a person from abroad to work in Finland, the employer should check whether the person has an A1 certificate or not. A person coming to Finland to work must have an A1 certificate starting from their first day of work. If they do not have an A1 certificate, the employer must pay the employee’s social insurance contributions to Finland. This obligation applies to both Finnish and foreign employers. This means that remote work done in Finland for a foreign employer must also be insured in Finland, unless the employee has been granted an A1 certificate by some other country.