A range of benefits for seconded employees

Employees seconded from the Netherlands to China can now access a range of social security benefits as part of a new treaty between the countries. From 1 September 2017, employees who qualify for the scheme can remain partially subject to Dutch social security for a period of up to five years. This means that they will be covered for unemployment (WW), state pension (AOW) and survivors’ pension (ANW) while living in China. Similar rules apply for secondments from China to the Netherlands.

How to access the new scheme

To qualify for the benefits the employee must have worked for their Dutch employer for at least one month immediately prior to the secondment beginning. The treaty can also apply to someone who can ‘derive rights’ to the seconded worker, usually family members who travel with the employee to China, though it does not apply to people who are working in China themselves. To show that they have applied to access the Dutch social security system, people have to apply for a Certificate of Coverage with the Sociale Verzekeringsbank (the relevant Dutch authority). The Certificate of Coverage must be forwarded to the company in China where the employee is seconded, and then sent on by the company to the Chinese Ministry of Social Security within six months of the secondment beginning. Employees already working in China from 1 September 2017 can also benefit from the new treaty. For those employees to access the benefits, the CoC must be submitted to the Chinese Ministry of Social Security before 1 March 2018.

Which benefits are included?

The treaty is not applicable for other insurances, including long-term care, health insurance, disablement benefits, sickness benefits and child benefits. For these, the employee should, in principle, rely upon the Chinese social security system, which may differ depending on which region the employee is living and working in. It is also advisable to conclude additional insurance, in particular for sickness and disability.