Regulation 465/2012 amending Regulation No 883/2004 on the coordination of social security systems and Regulation No 987/2009 laying down the procedure for implementing Regulation No 883/2004, came into effect on the 28th of June 2012.
This Regulation introduced the concept of social security liabilities arising wholly in the country in which an individual’s ‘home base’ is located. This concept has been introduced in relation to both flight and cabin crew employees within the European Union. The aim for such legislation is to ensure that employees who are required to work in a number of different EU countries, fall liable to social security contributions in a single member state, rather than in each of the countries in which they have worked.
A new article 11.5 has been added to Regulation 883/2004, which stipulates that “An activity as a flight crew or cabin crew member performing air passenger or freight services shall be deemed to be an activity pursued in the Member State where the home base, [as defined in Annex III to Regulation (EEC) No 3922/91,] is located”.
‘Home base’ for flight crew and cabin crew members is defined as the location nominated by the operator to the crew member from where the crew member normally starts and ends a duty period, or a series of duty periods, and where, under normal conditions, the operator is not responsible for the accommodation of the crew member concerned.
Therefore in terms of the above, flight crew and cabin crew members would be liable to pay social security contributions and are eligible to receive benefits in the country where they start and end their shifts, their ‘home base’, as opposed to the country where their airline is based.
Existing aircrew must however make a request to be covered by the new rules – otherwise, the previous rules will continue to apply to existing work arrangements for a maximum of 10 years. Such request shall be submitted to the institution designated by the competent authority of the Member State of residence. Requests submitted by 29 September 2012 shall be deemed to take effect on 28 June 2012. Requests submitted after 29 September 2012 shall take effect on the first day of the month following that of their submission.