Cross-border workers For Members

Swiss home-working agreement must be extended, demand cross border groups

The Local Switzerland
The Local Switzerland - [email protected] • 10 Jun, 2022 Updated Fri 10 Jun 2022 12:47 CEST
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While some cross-border workers commute to their jobs in Switzerland, others still work from home. Photo by SEBASTIEN BOZON / AFP

As the agreements concerning taxes and social security contributions of Swiss cross-border employees who are still working from home are set to expire soon, two groups are asking Switzerland and France to renew the deal.

The European Cross-Border Group (GTE) and a business association of the French-speaking Switzerland (FER) wrote a letter to Swiss President Ignazio Cassis and his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron asking them to renew two transitional agreements concerning taxes and social security of cross-border employees who are still working from home.

The agreements, created during the Covid pandemic when home office obligation was in place, expire on June 30th.

The first agreement relates to social security, stipulating that if a cross-border employee spends more than 25 percent of work hours at home in France, the Swiss employer must pay social insurance contributions to the French authorities on the totality of the salary earned, and not just on the amount corresponding to hours spent working at home.

The second one applies to taxation: if the 25-percent time limit is exceeded, taxes have to be paid not in Switzerland but in France, where the rate of taxation is higher.

In asking the two government to extend the agreement beyond the June 30th deadline, the two groups pointed out “the indisputable advantages” of the home office work.

“A strong will, on both sides of the border, will make it possible to reach a consensus to increase the authorised teleworking time”, GTE said.

As for FER, it wrote to both governments that “it is important that France and Switzerland can reach, in the mutual interest of companies and their employees, a solid and lasting agreement, taking into account the evolution of the [home office] work model”.

READ MORE: EXPLAINED: Who can work in Switzerland but live in a neighbouring country?

Agreement on home work for cross-border workers in Switzerland is an exceptional regime concluded between the two countries during the Covid-19 pandemic, to curb the spread of the virus on both sides of the border.

At the time, Switzerland agreed with neighbouring countries, including France, to suspend certain rules concerning cross-border workers, especially relating to social insurance and taxes. The agreement was renewed several times since then.

Its purpose was to allow cross-border workers in Switzerland to work from their home in neighboring France (at least those whose jobs allow it), while enabling them to remain subject to Swiss social security and  tax system as if they had continued to work entirely in Switzerland.

About 90,000 workers from France are employed in Geneva, but there is no official data on how many still work from home.

Italy and Switzerland signed an agreement relating to cross-border workers in March.

These articles provide more information about cross-border taxation:

Tax rules cross-border workers in Switzerland need to know

EXPLAINED: What cross-border workers should know about taxation in Switzerland

More

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The Local Switzerland 2022/06/10 12:47

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