Freelance architects get their own pay deal, with income guarantees


Freelance architects have become the first self-employed group in the country to have a pay deal governing how much they should earn, the Financieele Dagblad reported on Wednesday.

When the agreement comes into effect, freelance architects who work for another bureau must be paid 150% of the gross salary of someone doing a similar job internally.  The negotiators opted for 150% to cover freelance costs, such as healthcare, pensions and insurance.

The aim of the deal is to stop unfair competition between employees and freelancers, the Dutch architect office association said. ‘The deal establishes a fair level for both employees and freelancers who work for bureaus,’ the organisation said.

Similar efforts to introduce a pricing agreement in 2015 failed following objections from the Dutch competition authority. But last summer the ACM changed its position and said freelancers who work ‘side by side’ with employees are not entrepreneurs in competition law.

Experts expect other professional sectors, such as journalism, to make similar moves in the near future.

The cabinet is also planning to bring in a minimum tariff of €16 for freelancers at the bottom end of the market.

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