On 8 June 2012, the new Regulation 465/2012 was published in the Official Journal of the European Union. The new instrument makes amendments to the modernised social security Coordination Regulations 883/2004 and 987/2009. They include changes affecting aircrew and self-employed workers and amend the general rules for simultaneous employment.
Before the amendment, the general rules that apply to all persons working in two or more EU countries applied to aircrew. These general rules do not fully fit the way in which airlines are organised. Many airlines provide their services from so-called "home bases", the place where the personnel normally starts or 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 aircrew member. This is also the location with which the worker has the greatest connection during his or her employment.
The new rules now recognise this close connection with the inclusion of the concept of 'home base", which means that the person will be subject to the social security legislation of the country of the "home base". Let us for example imagine the situation of a pilot who is working for an airline which has his registered office in France, but who is residing in Italy and whose "home base" is in Italy. According to the new rules, he will be subject to the Italian social security legislation and no longer to the French legislation. This means contributions will be paid in Italy, for example.
The modernised regulations extended the unemployment provisions to self-employed workers. The new regulation introduces practical provisions for self-employed frontier workers. These will apply in case the country of residence has no unemployment benefits scheme for self-employed unemployed persons. In this case, the country of last activity will pay the unemployment benefits if the person registers with the unemployment services and fulfils job-seeking activities there. Of the 27 EU countries, 18 have an unemployment benefits scheme for self-employed persons and 9 do not.
Finally, the criterion of “substantial activities” has been extended to simultaneous employment situations in which a worker is employed by two or more employers having their registered office in different Member States. As a result, when working for different employers established in two Member States, one of which is their country of residence, employees will have to perform substantial activities in their home Member State for its legislation to apply. If this is not the case, they will be subject to the legislation of the Member State where the other employer is located. However, if a person works for different employers scattered across two or more Member States, which are not the country of residence, he or she will still be subject to the legislation of the Member State in which he or she resides.
A transitory period of 10 years maximally will guarantee a smooth landing of the new rules, which have entered into force on 28 June 2012. Persons who are impacted will be able to maintain the currently applicable legislation, unless their situation changes or if they explicitly opt for the application of the new rules.