Seconded employees: ensuring you will continue to be covered by your home country’s health insurance systemPrint the page
For social security purposes, a seconded employee is one who has been sent by a foreign-based employer to perform a temporary assignment in France.
The chain of command between the employee and the employer is maintained during the assignment in France. Under certain conditions, the employee may be covered by the social security system of the country in which they usually work. In such cases, social security contributions are paid in the individual’s country of origin.
To work in France, other formalities are required.
Visit our “Visas, staying, working” section.
Posted employees from the EU
Employees who are posted to France and usually work in a member state of the European Union or the European Economic Area continue to be covered by the social security system of their home country.
They are classed as a seconded or posted employee if the following conditions are fulfilled:
- A significant proportion of the employer’s business is run in the member state in which it is established.
- The chain of command between an employee posted to France and the employer is maintained during the assignment.
- The employee is a citizen of a European Union member state and has been posted to France to perform a role on the original employer’s behalf.
If these conditions are fulfilled, the employee is granted seconded employee status. If they are not, an employee posted to France will be covered by the French social security system.
Such employees may be posted for a maximum of 24 months. Throughout this period, the cost of healthcare they receive in France will be covered by France’s public health and maternity insurance system.
An extension of the secondment period may be granted in the event that the planned duration of the assignment exceeds 24 months or if it needs to be extended beyond 24 months. The secondment period’s extension will only be granted in exceptional circumstances subject to approval from the foreign organization and the CLEISS.
What are the practical formalities?
1. Employer: Informs the relevant organization in the country of origin from which the employee has been posted.
2. Employer: Requests A1 form “certificate attesting to the social security legislation applicable to the holder”. Form A1 attests to the social security legislation that is applicable to its holder.
3. Employee: Requests S1 form “certificate of entitlement to social security coverage” from the relevant social security institution in their usual country of residence.
4. Employee: Sends document S1 to the Primary Health Insurance Fund (CPAM) of their place of residence in France as soon as they arrive in the country. Form S1 enables seconded employees to register with French healthcare institutions when they are covered by another member state’s social security system.
5. The relevant CPAM will register the holder of an S1 document to the French social security system: the seconded employee and the members of their family will have their medical expenses reimbursed (medical treatment, hospitalization, etc.) in the same way as a French worker covered by France’s General Social Security system.
6. Secondment extension: The employer sends the request to the relevant organization in the country from which the employee has been posted. The latter must consult the CLEISS.
Posted employees covered by a social security agreement
Seconded employees from countries that have signed bilateral agreements with France can remain registered to the social security system in their country of origin for all or part of their secondment period in France.
The employer must contact the relevant social security organization in their employee’s country of origin so as to obtain a secondment certificate. This certificate attests that the employee continues to be covered by the health insurance system in their country of origin. This part of the procedure is essential if the employee is to benefit from the provisions of the bilateral agreement.
The period of time during which the employee will retain social security cover is specified in the bilateral agreement (this can range from a few months to five years). Depending on the agreement in place, this initial secondment period may be renewed.
At the end of the initial period or the extended period, seconded employees must register for French social security coverage.
They can also decide to remain registered to the social security system in their country of origin. In such cases, they will contribute in both countries simultaneously.
Find out whether your country has signed a bilateral agreement with France.
Who should you contact to obtain a secondment certificate?
For further information, visit the CLEISS website
What are the practical formalities?
1. Employee: Supplies proof that they are registered in their country of origin
2. Employer: Contacts the relevant social security organization in their employee’s country of origin so as to obtain a secondment certificate.
3. Confirmation of secondment by the foreign organization.
4. Once the certificate has been issued, the employer must keep a copy and send another to the seconded employee.
5. The terms under which medical expenses are covered in France depend on the bilateral agreement in place.
6. In the event that they wish to extend the secondment period, the employer must send a request to the relevant social security organization in their employee’s country of origin, which may or may not approve the request. The CLEISS must confirm this approval before the extension can be granted.
|Helpful tip: Some bilateral agreements do not cover all healthcare costs, pensions, unemployment benefits, etc. Employees and employers must therefore contribute to the French social security system to cover any expenses that are not included. Learn more about the French social security system.|
What if I do not fall into any of the previous categories?
In the absence of a bilateral social security agreement, employees posted to France must be registered to the French public health insurance system under the terms explained in the “Employees: Registering for French social security” section.