Territorial principle

This means that the national social insurance law of the state in whose territory the activity is actually carried out must always be adhered to.

The residence or nationality of the employee and the location of the company are generally not pertinent for the principle of territoriality.

The principle of territoriality is also referred to as the principle of the host country or the principle of the country of economic activity.

Exceptions: The principle of territoriality can be overridden or may be overridden by European Union law as well as bilateral agreements. This applies insofar as specific special regulations (such as in the case of posting) are included in the aforementioned legal matters for certain individuals or circumstances. National regulations may also stipulate that a person working in another country remains insured in the home country.

The insurance that may occur in the country of activity is generally not affected by this, so in these cases, dual insurance may exist.

Before a person is subject to the national legal provisions of the country of employment according to the principle of territoriality, the employer or the self-employed person must always verify whether there are special provisions for the respective situation.

In this context, it must first be determined whether the activity is carried out:

  • in the EU / EEA,
  • in Switzerland,
  • in the United Kingdom (since 01.01.2021),
  • in contracting states,
  • in third countries, or
  • for certain international organizations.

The duration of employment generally does not matter, except for postings (different time limits apply here).