Social security cover when working abroad

In some situations you may stay covered by the Social Security System in Denmark while working abroad

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If you are an employee or a self-employed professional working for a Danish company, you can work temporarily in another EU/EEA country and/or Switzerland but remain covered by the Social Security System in Denmark.

The Social Security System in Denmark

The Danish Social Security System consists of services and benefits that provide economic security such as health insurance, family benefits, pension, unemployment benefits, daily sick pay, ATP (Danish labor market supplementary pension) and industrial injury insurance. 

To remain covered by the Social Security System in Denmark while working in another EU/EEA country and/or Switzerland, you or your employer need to apply for the A1 certificate.

The certificate proves that you pay social contributions in Denmark.

You must present the A1 certificate to the authorities at any time during your posting abroad. As long as you have a valid A1 certificate, the authorities in your host country must recognize it.

Following employees or self-employed professionals can obtain the A1 certificate:

  • Employees and self-employed professionals who are posted to another EU/EEA country and/or Switzerland for up to 24 months.
  • Employees and self-employed professionals who are posted to another EU/EEA country and/or Switzerland for longer than 24 months, but no longer than 36 months.
  • Employees and self-employed professionals working in several EU/EEA country and/or Switzerland.
  • Employees and self-employed professionals who are posted to countries outside the EU/EEA countries which Denmark has made individual agreements with.

If your posting to another EU/EEA country or Switzerland is longer than 24 months, you or your employer may request an extension to the validity of your A1 certificate. This is subject to the mutual agreement between the authorities in your home and host countries. 

When posted abroad, you and your employer must meet several requirements to make sure you stay covered by the Danish Social Security System after you move to your new EU/EEA country.

For example:

  • You and your Danish employer do not expect your posting to be longer that 24 months. If you do, you must state it in your application.
  • You work for a Danish employer in another EU/EEA country or Switzerland
  • You have been covered by the Danish Social Security before your posting – for example if you live and have been working in Denmark before your posting.
  • You have been covered by Social Security in Denmark before employment, if it was already agreed upon employment that you will be working in another EU/EEA country or Switzerland.
  • Your employer has extensive activity in Denmark and employs its employees in Denmark.

You are working in more than one EU/EEA country if you, for example, work with international transport or go on business trips.

If you live in Demark and work in several EU/EEA countries or Switzerland and 25 percent of you work is performed in Denmark, then you are covered by Danish Social Security. In this case, it does not matter if you work for a Danish or a foreign employer, nor how many employers you have.

If you live in Denmark and work in several EU/EEA countries or Switzerland and less than 25 percent of your work is performed in Denmark, then you are covered by Danish Social Security when you:

  • Work for one or several Danish employers – or
  • Work for more than two employers and at least two of them are domiciled in other EU/EEA countries (not including Denmark) e.g. if you work for a Norwegian and Swedish employer at the same time. The same applies if, for example, one employer is domiciled in Switzerland and the other employer is domiciled in a different EU/EEA country (not including Denmark).

If you do not live in Denmark and work in several EU/EEA countries and less than 25 percent of your work is performed in Denmark, you will be covered by Danish Social security when you:

  • Are only employed by a Danish employer – or
  • Are employed by a Danish employer but have another job with another employer in your country of residence.

If you work for a Danish employer in more than two EU/EEA countries or Switzerland, you must contact the social authorities of the country in which you live.

The social authorities there must decide whether you should be socially secured in the country you live in.  

If you are self-employed you must request an A1 certificate to make sure you stay covered by Danish social security.

To be eligible for the form, you must meet several requirements and prove that the activities you intend to pursue abroad are like those you pursued in Denmark.

For example:

  • You do not expect your posting to be longer that 24 months. If you do, you must state it in your application.
  • You run an extensive business In Denmark.
  • You have been running your business for at least two months prior to posting
  • You work in the same industry during your posting.
  • During your posting, you continue to maintain all that is necessary to run your business when you return to Denmark – e.g. a requirement might be that you still have an office in Denmark, pay taxes in Denmark, retain a license to run a business in Denmark or continue to be VAT registered during your posting.
  • If you are self-employed, live in Denmark, work in more than two EU/EEA countries or Switzerland and perform at least 25 percent of your work in Denmark then you are covered by Danish social security.
  • Before issuing the A1 form to you, Udbetaling Danmark will have to review your business performance based on working hours, turnover, the number of services provided and revenue.
  • It is not a requirement that you work in the same industry in the different countries that you are working in.

In the chart below you can see the case processing time limits:

This table shows the varying case processing time limits.
Case processing time limits vary according to the situations below CASE PROCESSING TIME LIMITS
If you are posted to one country 5 weeks
If you are working in two or more countries 3 weeks
For special social security agreements 27 weeks

The case processing time limit period begins the same day Udbetaling Danmark receives your application.

You can help ensure that your application is processed as soon as possible by:

  • Attaching the required documentation
  • Ensuring that your information in the National Register of Persons is correct.

If you are not satisfied with how Udbetaling Danmark has dealt with your case, you are welcome to contact Udbetaling Danmark, International Social Sikring. Sometimes misunderstandings can occur and can easily be resolved with a verbal explanation. 

If you disagree with a decision

You may file a complaint about a decision from Udbetaling Danmark if you disagree with it. You will always receive a letter from Udbetaling Denmark, in which the decision will be stated along with a complaint guide.

Udbetaling Danmark must receive your complaint no later than four weeks after your receipt of the decision. They will then assess the matter again. However, if you have received a preliminary decision, you can only file your complaint when you receive the final decision.

If Udbetaling Danmark reject your complaint, they will forward it to the National Social Appeals Board. The National Social Appeals Board is an independent state institution and the highest complaint board for Udbetaling Danmark amongst others.

Complaints about other matters

Udbetaling Danmark will also consider complaints received about other matters in your case and investigate whether there is anything that should have been done differently. You will always receive an answer to your complaint.

How to file a complaint

You can file a complaint by calling Udbetaling Danmark or sending your complaint to Udbetaling Danmark, International Social Sikring, preferably marked ‘Klage over social sikring’. Find contact information at the bottom of the page.

Contact Udbetaling Danmark, International Social Sikring

Last updated: 09 February 2021