Tips for cross-border workers – living in germany and working in france?

Today, it is no longer uncommon for employees living in Germany to work in France and commute daily from one country to the other and back again.

Those interested in a career in the beautiful neighboring country should, however, familiarize themselves with the legal regulations in advance. Because in terms of social law, but not in terms of tax law, a cross-border commuter is subject to the regulations of his country of employment. This is as true for French people working in Germany as it is for Germans doing their jobs in France. The most important questions and answers as well as other valuable tips on health insurance, long-term care insurance, unemployment insurance and vacation entitlement for cross-border commuters are compiled in the following article.

What about health insurance?

If certain conditions are met, which will be discussed below, cross-border commuters generally have the choice of whether they want to be treated in Germany or in France in the event of illness. Family members have the right to receive medical services in their place of residence.

If you are employed exclusively in France, your employer must register you with the URSSAF (General Social Security Contribution Collection Agency). However, the employee must register with a French CPAM local health insurance fund independently. It is also the duty of the employee to report to the appropriate institution in the place of residence in order to be entitled to medical benefits for family members in Germany.

Is there a long-term care insurance in France?

So far this must be denied. However, there are currently negotiations on whether long-term care insurance should also be introduced in France. However, the French health insurance covers accidents at work and occupational diseases. An occupational accident is any accident that occurs during the performance of the occupation or due to the occupational activity. This also includes commuting accidents, i.e. accidents that occur on the way to or from work.

What is the applicable legislation with regard to unemployment insurance??

There is a need to distinguish between two types of unemployment in this regard, namely:

For more details on the subject, click here: Receiving unemployment benefits in France

Which family benefits can employees claim?

  • Premiums for the birth or adoption of a child
  • Social minimum security
  • Housing allowance
  • Aid for disabled adults
  • Claimable family support

We explain how French social security law works here: Social security law in France

What to look for in a pension scheme?

In terms of pension insurance, it is necessary to distinguish whether someone has worked his entire professional career in France or whether someone has worked in France only secondarily.

  • If you have worked in France for your entire working life, you are entitled to a retirement pension under French law.
  • Anyone who has been employed in France for at least one quarter subject to social security contributions is entitled to a pension in France, provided the conditions for granting the pension are met. More detailed information can be found in the "Guide for cross-border commuters from Germany and France" of the Saarland Chamber of Labor, starting on page 99.

There are also various French pension systems. Read more in this article: What are the pension schemes in France?

What is the legal working time in France?

In France the legal working time is 35 hours per week. However, working overtime is possible in principle. Overtime is defined as all hours worked in excess of the statutory working week of 35 hours and performed at the employer's request or with the employer's permission.

If there is an entitlement to paid leave?

Two and a half working days per month – this is the minimum leave to which French employees are entitled. In addition, employees in France are entitled to additional vacation days under certain circumstances, namely:

  • Four vacation days in the case of a wedding at the registry office or in the church
  • Three days of leave for each birth or reception of a child for adoption purposes
  • Two days of leave in the event of the death of the spouse
  • A day's vacation when your child gets married
  • A day off, in the event of the death of a parent, parent-in-law, and brother or sister

For more information on French vacation regulations, see this post: Vacation in France – Entitlement and Regulations

What is the definition of a cross-border worker in terms of tax law?

  • The employee lives in the border area of one state and works in the border area of the other state. In the case of France and Germany, a 20-kilometer-wide strip on both sides of the border is defined for this purpose.
  • The employee returns to his place of residence in Germany every day.
  • The employee is obliged to apply for exemption from French wage tax at the tax office in his or her place of residence in Germany and to present the exemption certificate, which he or she then receives, to his or her French employer.

Further tips for German-French cross-border commuters

Cross-border commuters are, by definition, commuters between two countries. Most cross-border commuters use their cars to commute from Germany to France and back again. For reasons of cost and for the sake of the environment, those who are able to should of course take the train or carpool with colleagues. However, those who drive their daily commute in their own car and have cross-border commuter status can claim the kilometers driven for tax purposes on their next tax return to the German tax office (for recognized cross-border commuters, the tax office of the place of residence, i.e. Germany, is responsible).

Those who live in the German-French border area and would like to work in France must take care of numerous formalities in advance. Useful addresses that can help with social and tax law issues can also be found in the guidebook of the Saarland Chamber of Labor already mentioned earlier in the text.

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