Frontier workers

A frontier worker lives in one EU member state and works in another, returning home daily or weekly.

Source: Your Europe

As a European Union (EU) citizen, you have the right to live and work in any other EU country.

The Your Europe website is designed to inform the European citizen, to know their rights and to find practical tips to help move around the EU.

Cross-border worker

You are a cross-border worker (also called ‘frontier’ worker) if you work on one side of a border but live on the other, and return home at least once a week.

As a cross-border worker, employed or self-employed, what are your rights in your country of employment? What consequences are there for your benefits: sickness, maternity and paternity, invalidity, old-age and survivors’ pensions, accidents at work and occupational diseases, death grants, unemployment, early-retirement and family? Where should you pay taxes?

The Your Europe website provides answers to these questions and more.  The Cross-border commuting section contains a wealth of information including:

  • Cross border worker – specific status
  • Social security
  • Taxes
  • Residence

For further information please visit Your Europe – Work & Retirement

Common Questions

Where do I access health care?

As a cross border worker you are entitled to medical treatment on both sides of the border. For further information please visit Border People – Healthcare for Frontier Workers

Where do I  pay tax?

As a cross border worker you must pay income tax in the country where you earn your income, but your ultimate tax responsibility is with the country where you live so you must submit an annual self assessment each year. For further information please visit Border People – Taxation – Income Tax in Ireland and Income Tax in Northern Ireland.

Where do I claim benefits?

As a cross-border worker,employed or self-employed, your social security rights mainly depend on the country where you work. You enjoy the same rights as your colleagues with regard to sickness benefits, maternity and paternity benefits, invalidity, old-age and survivors’ pensions, insurance against accidents at work and occupational diseases, death grants, early-retirement and family benefits.

With regards to claiming job seeker benefits there are special rules for frontier / cross border workers:

  • Frontier workers who are wholly/fully unemployed, e.g. made completely redundant, receive benefits in the state in which they live.
  • Frontier workers who are partially or intermittently out of work (e.g. reduced working hours) receive unemployment benefits in the state where they were last employed.
  • In the absence of any contractual link with the employer ithey are treated as fully unemployed.
  • Where there is no resumption date they are treated as fully unemployed

Further information available is throughout the Border People website.

See also: