ECA Welcomes EU Parliament Vote on Social Security for Air Crew

With the new EU law on social security all crews will pay social security in the country where they are based. ECA has been advocating this legislative change since 2010 when the Commission published its original proposal to review the social security Regulation, and promoted a fair system of social security allocation for pilots. ECA gained the support of the other Social Partners and was finally heard by the national authorities and the Parliament.

The amendment approved by the European Parliament, on 18 April, which is also supported by the Council of Ministers, will help stop unfair competition. It will ensure that all pilots working out of the same base will pay the same social security and be subject to the social security legislation of the country where their base is located.

“It was not very logical that two pilots regularly working out from the same airport should have been subject to different social security systems” said Nico Voorbach, ECA President. “These new rules fix a loophole that has been allowing unscrupulous employers to elude social charges while penalising companies paying their dues in social security contributions.”

The new regulation corresponds to the general principle that states social security is paid in the country where a person works. The Council and now the Parliament consider that for pilots and cabin crew, this place is the airport (base) from where they routinely work, rather than the country in which their employing airline is based.

Philip von Schöppenthau, ECA Secretary General said: “The pilots of the European Cockpit Association welcome this decision. At the same time, we urge the European Institutions to continue working to correct other loopholes in European legislation, such as fake temporary work or posting and bogus self-employment, that enable the abuse of social rights and undermine quality employment in Europe.“


For further information, please contact:

Philip von Schöppenthau, ECA Secretary General, Tel: +32 2 705 32 93

Nico Voorbach, ECA President, Tel: +32 491 378 982

And see:



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