Table of Contents

Research Handbook on European Social Security Law

Research Handbook on European Social Security Law

Research Handbooks in European Law series

Edited by Frans Pennings and Gijsbert Vonk

This Handbook encompasses four dimensions of European social security law: social security as a human right, standard setting in social security, the protection of mobile persons and migrants and the global context of European social security law. It pays attention to both EU law and to various instruments of the Council of Europe. In 25 chapters prominent experts analyse contemporary debates, discuss new challenges and point out further lines of research. Through this exploration, the Handbook provides a source of inspiration for the development of this special field of law.

Chapter 14: Social security for mobile workers and labour law

Rob Cornelissen and Guido Van Limberghen

Subjects: law - academic, european law, law and society


On the one hand, this chapter explains why, although in many cases migrant workers are subject to the social security legislation and to labour law of the same Member State, such synchronism is no guarantee. As a matter of fact, the conflict of law rules in both fields vary in their detail. In addition, they are based upon different principles. As a result, a migrant worker may be subject to the social security legislation of one Member State and to labour law of another Member State. Our analysis shows that this is especially true for posted workers who are posted for a period longer than two years and for workers who normally pursue an activity in two or more Member States. This could lead to problems for the worker concerned and his employer, for instance in case of sickness of the worker. On the other hand, this chapter exposes why, only by way of exception, elements of labour law are also covered by the social security Regulation 883/2004. As is explained, this does not mean, however, that migrant workers are not protected at all in these matters. It is indeed for the national administration and judiciary to interpret and apply domestic law in conformity with Union law. Their task is certainly not an easy one.

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