Minister Koolmees

Minister Koolmees sticks to 1-year limit for opt-out variant

Replacing the Assessment of Employment Relationships (Deregulation) Act

Minister Koolmees (Social Affairs and Employment) is convinced that a one-year limit for the term of the self-employed person’s declaration is important to get clarity. He said so in response to a motion filed by the VVD and D66 parties to reconsider that limit.

Self-employed person’s declaration

The self-employed person’s declaration is part of the plans to replace the Assessment of Employment Relationships (Deregulation) Act. Principals and self-employed workers can draw up such declaration for assignments that pay more than EUR 75 per hour. It shows that there is no employer-employee relationship. According to the plan that declaration will be valid for 1 year maximum, and cannot be renewed.
An alternative option is using the web module. This module can be used also for assignments that pay less than EUR 75 per hour. In that case the parties have to answer a series of questions before they can obtain a declaration that offers advance certainty.

One-year term

The report ‘Characteristics and Rates of Self-Employed Workers’, commissioned by the government, reveals that ‘just a very limited portion of the group of self-employed workers charging high rates has assignments that run longer than one year’. Still, it is a well-known fact that interim-managers, projectmanagers and IT workers frequently work on assignments that last longer than a year, such as major change processes.

Motion

In their motion Dennis Wiersma (VVD) and Steven van Weyenberg (D66) write that in practice ‘many assignments of actual self-employed workers can overrun and take longer than a year’. In their opinion self-employed workers should not face unnecessary uncertainty or financial losses.’ It is the reason why they have asked the government to adjust the validity of the declaration.

‘Unique measure’

Minister Koolmees is not in favour. ‘The objective of the declaration is to give actual self-employed persons certainty. It is a unique measure that gives a lot of freedom. But it should be available only to working individuals who have a good position on the job market and do short-term assignments.’ There should be a limit, the Minister argues, or the declaration would provide uncertainty rather than certainty. He wants to prevent the scheme from being used for working individuals who are not really entrepreneurs.

Left opposition against self-employed person’s declaration out of principle

The left opposition parties are not in favour of the declaration. Gijs van Dijk (PvdA) called it the ‘axe at the roots of our social system’. PvdA, Groenlinks and SP also filed a motion. They have asked the Minister to cancel the declaration completely. They advocate the participation of all self-employed workers in the social system instead. The Lower House will be voting on the motions next week.

Minister Koolmees
Minister Koolmees