European Social Security Convention: Practices in Spain and Portugal

A SGK Circular regarding the European Social Security Agreement was signed between Austria, Belgium, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Spain, Portugal and Turkey on March 1, 1977. Based on the provisions of the European Social Security Agreement, the Circular mentioned social security applications of the temporary assignments with Spain and Portugal, countries that do not have a social security agreement with Turkey.

The European Social Security Agreement and the Additional Agreement on the Implementation of the Social Security Agreement, which came into force with this agreement, regulated the social security legislation of the employees on temporary assignments in Spain and Portugal. With the Circular No. 2021/34 published by the Social Security Institution on October 14, 2021, the details of the application became clear.

Social Security Practices Between Spain/Portugal and Turkey

Due to the fact that they are a party to the European Social Security Agreement, temporary workers between Turkey and Spain or Portugal are subject to the legislation of the contracting country in which they are employed, for a period not exceeding 12 months. In this context, CE1 Certificate is given to employees who are temporarily assigned to Portugal or Spain from Turkey.

The decision on whether to extend the period determined as 12 months is left to the mutual agreement of the authorized institutions upon the request of the employer. If the aforementioned agreement is reached, the term of the insured employee under 4/1-a may be extended exceptionally until the end of the job, when the period of assignment in Spain or Portugal exceeds 1 year.

Which Country’s Legislation Will Workers Be Subject to?

Pursuant to Article 14/I-a of the European Social Security Convention, the insured person working in a contracting country is subject to the legislation of the contracting party in which they work.

In accordance with Article 15/I-a of the European Social Security Convention, workers sent by their employer to another country party to the contract by their employer in one of the countries that are party to the contract are subject to the insurance of the country they are sent to, provided that this job is not exceeded 1 year. For example, an employee sent from Portugal to our country for work will be subject to Portuguese legislation for 1 year with the CE1 document. It is possible to extend the period after 1 year, subject to the agreement of the authorized institutions.

Consolidation of Insurance Period

The insurance periods in the contracting countries are also taken into account In the institutional benefits to be provided depending on the insurance period.

While determining the insurance periods to pay a pension, the periods worked in the contracting countries will be considered as the “past insurance period” and will be counted as the insurance period.

Insurance Transactions for Sickness and Maternity Leaves

In the European Social Security Agreement and its Supplementary Agreement, it is stated that the provisions of the agreements signed separately between the two countries, if any, will be valid for the issues related to benefiting from maternity and sickness benefits. Since there is no separate contract between Spain/Portugal and Turkey, the provisions regarding maternity and sickness will not be applied to workers sent to or coming from these countries.

However, if the insurance period in Turkey is insufficient for a worker who is insured under 4/1-a to qualify for benefits arising from sickness and maternity insurance, the periods spent in these two contracting countries will be counted as the insurance period.

Click here to reach the original Circular numbered 2021/34 of SGK.

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