ZZP’er stands for Zelfstandige Zonder Personeel (independent without staff) and is the moniker given to the 800,000 people (2014) who work in the Netherlands as self-employed, freelancers or one-person companies – be they long- distance lorry drivers, accountants or plumbers. In 2014, the government decided to crack down on what it called ‘pretend’ freelancers – people who only have one client, rather than the regulation four. Hundreds of postal delivery workers, for example, are ZZP’ers but only work for PostNL or one of the private post companies.

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