Cabinet comes with clearer rules for self-employed people

The government wants to clarify in the regulations when a job can be performed by a self-employed person and when someone must be hired as an employee for this. Guiding factors include whether a worker is directly managed by the client and whether the work is structural and has a permanent place in the organization.

According to Minister Karien van Gennip (Social Affairs and Employment), the “case law has been clarified” for the elaboration of the bill, which went into consultation on Friday. In other words, it examined how judges have ruled in different situations in the past and what the trade-offs were.

To determine whether a job can be performed by a self-employed person, Van Gennip says the first step is to look at how the job is managed. “Do you have complete freedom in this, or are you under the direction of someone else?” In the first case, you can work as a self-employed person; in the second case, only as an employee.

In addition, the type of work should be considered. “Are you doing work that is structurally performed in an organization that has a fixed place in the organization, and are you doing the same work as and with employees, or are you working independently, at your own expense, and at your own risk?”

In addition, the government wants the hourly wage to play a role. An employee who can credibly show that he or she receives less than the applicable hourly rate of currently 32 euros will soon be able to claim an employment contract more easily. It will then be up to the client to prove that this is not the case.

According to Van Gennip, these clearer rules will ensure that employees and clients do not have to sift through a “mountain of case law” themselves. Moreover, this is one of the measures taken by the outgoing Cabinet to combat bogus self-employment, but also to give more room to the actual self-employed.

The current legislation is already clear enough in most cases, Van Gennip stressed. However, for a small part of the assignments, it is more difficult to determine what type of employment contract should be used, he said. The bill aims to provide a solution for this gray area. Interested parties have until November 10 to comment.

Van Gennip also referred to Internet consultations to help those affected clarify the status of self-employment in the Netherlands. On X, the minister wrote “The labor market is out of balance. That will not resolve itself. To combat bogus self-employment and provide more clarity for truly self-employed people, the government is now introducing several measures for internet consultation.”

The Association of Self-Employed People (VZN) is unhappy with the proposal, which leans too much toward employee status and thus restricts entrepreneurs. “The freedom of entrepreneurship, a fundamental European right, is being taken away from them,” the association said. Cabinet comes with clearer rules for self-employed people

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