Government delays new freelancer registration system

tax envelopeThe government has delayed the introduction of a new method for regulating freelancer contracts because the systems are not yet in place.

The replacement for the VAR registration system was due to come into effect in January but tax minister Eric Wiebes told parliament on Monday this will now be April at the earliest.

The planned replacement for the VAR, known as a BGL, involves a number of standard sector-based agreements drawn up by the tax office which will be available for general use.

Companies will also be able to draw up their own freelance contracts and submit them for tax office approval.

Under the VAR system, freelancers are liable for social security premiums if the tax office decides they are effectively employees. The new system will split the responsibility.

Wiebes hopes this will stop companies getting round employment laws by treating de facto ordinary employees as if they were self-employed, so avoiding social security and other premium payments.

D66 leader Alexander Pechtold said he welcomed the delay because of the confusion facing freelancers, agencies and employers.

‘It is up to the minister, the tax office and everyone else involved to do their homework properly and win back faith in this legislation,’ he told news agency ANP.

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