The government is likely to encounter a lot of resistance as it plans to introduce mandatory void insurance for the country’s 1.2 million freelancers.
The freelancer association ZZP Nederland has described Social Affairs Minister Karien van Genyip’s plan as “unnecessary and unrealistic”, and labor market experts also suggest the measure will be difficult to implement.
“There is little support for the measure and this could prove difficult for ministers,” said Tilburg labor law and market professor Ton Willsagen. News site Nu.nl.
Van Gennip’s plan is one of a series of reforms ministers want to introduce to reduce the guise of self-employment and make the current benefit system more sustainable. Currently, only about 20% of people classified as self-employed have some form of insurance to cover them financially if they are unable to work.
Self-employment has surged in recent years, especially in the education, healthcare, and construction industries. Additionally, unions want platform-based agencies to hire staff on formal contracts rather than hiring them as freelancers without benefits.
Still, the details of how the insurance system works are sketchy. The scheme is administered by the benefit agency UWV and includes an opt-out provision for those who can demonstrate that they have adequate insurance. However, you may have to pay a “solidarity fee” to help fund the state system.
Officials have suggested that premiums could be up to about 8% of earnings, with payments starting a year later. Just under €2,000 per month before tax.
Charles Verhoef, chairman of the construction trade association Zelfstandigen Bouw for freelancers, told Nu.nl that he doesn’t think the plan will work and that hiring freelancers is expensive.
“We are not against compulsory insurance per se, but let freelancers decide who they insure,” he said. “Cabinet needs to focus on the conditions that freelancers must meet.”
“There are enough affordable alternatives out there,” he said. It takes and it accomplishes nothing.
The government plan will not come into force until 2027 at the earliest. Plans to introduce insurance started in 2019 as part of the government’s pension reform package, which has yet to be implemented.
https://www.dutchnews.nl/news/2023/04/long-awaited-freelance-insurance-plans-run-into-opposition/ Long-awaited freelance insurance plan meets opposition