Thursday 09 April 2020

Unions, employers agree on freelancer disability insurance deal: FD

Unions and employers have reached a preliminary agreement on a compulsory disability insurance scheme for freelancers, the Financieele Dagblad said on Wednesday.

The scheme would cost freelancers up to €200 a month, depending on their income, and insure them for a maximum €1,650 per month, with a waiting period of up to two years, the paper said. It bases the report on documents and sources close to the talks.

Unions and employers will now put the draft agreement to members in the hope that it can be formally presented to social affairs minister Wouter Koolmees next week.

The introduction of a compulsory disability insurance package for freelancers and the self-employed stems from the 2019 agreement on reforming pensions and was urged by unions and left-wing opposition parties GroenLinks and the PvdA.

Currently few freelancers take out formal disability insurance and, say unions, this allows them to undercut salaried staff by charging lower fees.

Koolmees has said earlier he wants to send plans to bring in the freelancer insurance scheme to the lower house of parliament before the summer. It would then be introduced in around 2024, the FD said.

The paper says the new insurance will be compulsory for everyone who is self employed, including professionals and one-man company directors. Those who have an alternative insurance package will be able to apply for an exemption.

The government is also reducing the size of the freelancer tax allowance in an effort to make self-employment less attractive.

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