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A1 – What’s That?

The social security systems inside the European Union are not unique system. The European Union respectively the countries that signed the contract of the union decided not to build one system for the whole union but to coordinate the different social security systems of the member states to ensure one of the essential cornerstones of the union the free movement of persons (workers) inside the union.

The basic principle of social security is that a worker is insured in the country where she/he is doing the work. E.g., if a German is working in Belgium she/he is insured in the Belgium social security system. This rule would also apply if she/he has a German employer and the latter sends him to work in Belgium. Because the employer in Germany has to insure the worker also in Germany the worker has a double insurance (in Germany and Belgium).

And there comes the A1 form into the game. This form is the tool to coordinate the social security systems and help to avoid such doubled insurance. If – like in the above example – a German employer sends his employee to Belgium he had to apply the A1 form (https://europa.eu/youreurope/citizens/work/social-security-forms/index_en.htm) before the employee went to Belgium. The employee has to carry at least the A1 application with him, once he left Germany and enter Belgium (regularly he should own the A1 form in this situation).

The application for an A1 is a duty of the employer. He has to submit this application to the competent social security institution of his place of business, in the example the one in Germany.

If the authorities of the other state (in the example the Belgium authorities) came across the German employee without an A1 form (or at least the evidence of the application for an A1) they will hand out a punishment to the employer.  This fine could be very expensive and is regularly not refundable.

It is current opinion among employers that an A1 form is only needed for longer foreign work periods, but that is not a correct interpretation of the European regulations. The employee needs an A1 form for every work, he was send to another country of the European Union (or a country where the regulation of the European Union are effective, e.g. Swiss or Norway). Thus the employee needs such a form too, if she/he makes a business trip only for a very short time into the other country, e.g. only for an hour or hours (https://www.krankenkassen.de/ausland/portable/a1/ , https://www.haufe.de/personal/entgelt/meldeverfahren-a1-bescheinigungen-kuenftig-maschinell_78_378230.html), e.g. visits an event, a conference for an hour or hours on behalf of his employer (regularly within his working hours, work contract).

The need of an A1 form is not narrowed to employees (and employers), it applies to self-employed people too, if they cross the border to do their work in another country of the European Union (or the countries where the coordination rules of the European union are effective).

First Evening Of Health Training

I attended my first after work health training today. The training took place within a group of eleven people. It picked the common health issues of office workers and will help to improve them. Nice evening within the group.

Afterwards driving home and pack the bag for a three days skill enhancement about current European topics.

Start With A New WordPress Theme From Scratch

I began with the work on a new WordPress theme for my homepage from scratch today. I use the bootstrap-mini styles as basis for my new theme and will add my own styles within a seperate styles.css file. The next steps are the creation of a header and footer template as well as a template for the sidebar. I’ll work on this during the next week in my spare time.

Worked Again On A WordPress Site

I worked on the further customization of a wordpress site that I created for an volunteer organisation some month ago. I got the request for an area for links to other websites. I found a plugin which in my opinion satisfy the needs of the organisation. It’s the WordPress plugin ‘Friends Link’. It had enough slots for websites to link to and made it easy to customize the links. The plugin is free software published under the GPL  version 2.

Used Dry Morning For Another Training

I sized the chance to pass another training run without rainy conditions. I repeated the same lap as some days ago and my time per kilometer and also my pulse were better than before. It seemed my shape is improving although I attended a Nordic walking training yesterday.

Worked Further With Encryption On Linux

I looked into the command line options for partition encryption on Linux today. It is possible to have more than one key to encrypt/decrypt a partition. I tried first to add a further encryption key (passphrase) to the partition. But first I had a look into the keys that already in the wallet of the partition with:
cryptsetup luksDump <device>
e.g.: cryptsetup luksDump /dev/sda3

I got a list of key slots. Only the key slot 0 has a value. It contains the encryption key (passphrase), which was set during the installation.

I could add a new encryption key with the command:
cryptsetup luksAddKey <device>
e.g.: cryptsetup luksAddKey /dev/sda3

I had to add the passphrase of the already existing encryption key and could afterwards insert a passphrase for the new encryption file (twice, because of verification). The passphrase will not be visible during typing.

I rerun the cryptsetup luksDump command and got the information that there were occupied two key slots yet, the slots 0 and 1.

Because there are two encryption keys available for this partition yet, it is possible to remove one of them. I use the remove command for this:
cryptsetup luksRemoveKey <device>
e.g. cryptsetup luksRemoveKey /dev/sda3

I was asked for the passphrase of the encryption key that I wanted to remove. I typed in the passphrase for the key on slot 0 and the key from this slot were removed. I checked this with the cryptsetup luksDump command. The key slot 0 was empty yet.

I added a further encryption key with the cryptsetup luksAddKey command. I had first to submit the passphrase of one of the available keys for the partition, in this case the passphrase for the key in slot 1. Then I could add a new key by typing in its passphrase twice (to verify it). I checked again with the cryptsetup luksDump command. The new encryption key was writen to first available free key slot, in this case key slot 0.

Experimentation With Encryption On Linux

I replaced the hard disk of my notebook and installed a fresh openSuSE Leap 15 distribution on it. I took this opportunity to get some knowledge about encryption using Linux. openSuSE makes it easy to create the encryption during the installation process. I could choose it for every partition with only one additional click. I tried it out with encryption for all partitions that I created during the installation process and also with the encryption of only the data (home) partition. I decided that the second option would work for me and thus I went with that option.

If I didn’t overlook something openSuSE offers only the option to set the first key for the encryption of a partition. Thus I had to use the command line to add further keys to the encryption key wallet.

Give Plone 5.2 On Python 3 Another Try

I updated my local git repository of the Plone development branch for the migration to Python 3 and run the buildout again. Everything went smoothly and I could start my Plone 5.2 site. I made some edits within the theme editor this time. I created already a copy from the default Barceloneta theme and made some edits on it and activated the new theme. It worked.