Cabinet tackles “bogus” self-employment in care


The government, care organisations and the tax office have announced a cooperation to fight against “bogus self-employment” in health care.

A new care model, which will come into force next year, will clarify to care institutions what the rules around hiring freelance workers are, and stricter controls will be put in place to prevent employees from quitting and then returning to the same job as a freelance.

Care institutions have long complained about the practice which they say is driving up the price.

Director of the Kloek Zorg care home for the elderly Martin van de Graaf said regular staff at the home were being “seduced” by the freelance path. “Some just worked here, others we had trained ourselves. They would then ask how much I would pay to hire them. Some would demand huge amounts of money. Those people are the fortune hunters in the market,” he told broadcaster NOS.

Too many freelancers also increase the burden for other workers, because they often don’t want to work during school holidays or take night shifts, Van de Graaf said.

Long-term care minister Conny Helder said that freelance workers were necessary but that too many cause discontinuity in care.

Social affairs minister Karien van Gennip said the new model aims to “prevent unfair competition in working conditions, and protect workers”.

The new care model is the first in a series aimed at tackling bogus self-employment by the cabinet, with other sectors said to be following shortly. Freelance tax allowances are being reduced and there will soon be an obligation for disability insurance and pensions.

Some freelancers say that their employment situation is not a matter of choice and feel unfairly targeted.

According to ING research, demand for temporary staffing is set to decrease this year and next.

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