Not one Dutch firm has been fined for employing ‘bogus’ freelancers

Many postal deliver workers are freelancers Photo:
Many postal deliver workers are freelancers Photo:

Not one company in the Netherlands has been fined in the past two years for employing bogus freelancers – people who are treated as self-employed but in reality work for one company – according to research by the NRC.

The tax office has started 49 investigations into possible abuse of the rules governing self-employment but 38 failed to produce enough evidence and 11 are still underway, the paper said.

Maurice Limmen, chairman of the CNV trade union federation, has described the figures as ‘very sad’.

‘This proves what we have been saying for a long time,’ he said. ‘Tackling exploitation via bogus self employment has been left to go its own way. People who are being exploited should expect nothing from politicians.’

It is cheaper for companies to employ freelancers because they don’t have to pay pension and other premiums on their behalf and can get round redundancy regulations.

Research by the OECD suggests some 15% of people in the Netherlands who are officially self-employed are actually employed by the company they work for because, for example, they only have one place of work and have fixed hours.

MPs are due to debate the rise in self-employment with social affairs minister Wouter Koolmees on Wednesday

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