Social security – EU

General information

Only the social legislation of a single Member State shall apply to an individual at any one time. This is generally the State of employment (country of employment principle).

One exception from the country of employment principle is, in particular, the possibility of secondment for the purposes of performing temporary work in another Member State.

Posted workers are generally subject to the social security regulations of the sending country. Benefits in kind, i.e. medical treatment at the expense of the relevant health insurer in the sending country is granted temporarily by the relevant Austrian service providers on presentation of an European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) (→ or, in the case of relocation, an S1 certificate.

Please note

The relevant insurance company of a worker with a planned posting to Austria issues them with an A1 certificate as proof of the application of the social security legislation of the sending country.


After the 24 months of the posting have elapsed, it may be possible, under certain conditions, to obtain an extension for up to a maximum of five years (in total) by means of an exceptional agreement to be concluded between the relevant authorities of the States concerned. In Austria the Federal Ministry of Social Affairs, Health, Care and Consumer Protection is the competent authority.

Enterprises affected

These rules apply to employees, employers and self-employed persons.


In order for posted workers to be subject to the social security regulations of the sending country, the following conditions must be met:

  • the expected duration of the posting is no more than 24 months;
  • the worker is not posted to replace another posted person;
  • the posting is carried out at the expense of the posting company;
  • the sending company carries out a significant activity in the sending country;
  • there must not be a second employment relationship in the State of employment;
  • the employment abroad must not be permanent or likely to be repeated.

Competent authority

To issue A1 and S1 certificates: the social security agency of the sending country. To conclude exceptional agreements: the relevant authority of the sending country.


The individual in question must make an application to the competent authority.

Required documents

All documents demonstrating that the legal requirements have been fulfilled are required; these do not have to be in any specific format.

Costs and fees

There are no fees and charges payable.

Further information

Legal bases

EC Regulation No 883/2004 on the coordination of social security systems

Translated by the European Commission
Last update: 24 January 2023

Responsible for the content: Federal Ministry of Social Affairs, Health, Care and Consumer Protection

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