Tuesday 30 November 2021

Ministers ditch minimum freelance rate plan but will tackle gig economy workers

Photo: Depositphotos.com

The cabinet has ditched plans to introduce a legal minimum rate for the self employed and to require high earning freelancers to sign a declaration of independence for every job they do.

Last year social affairs minister Wouter Koolmees said he planned to introduce a minimum rate of €16 a hour for the self-employed, as a way of ensuring people are properly paid.

However, Koolmees told MPs on Monday, that the results of the internet consultation showed there were a lot of concerns about the plan.

In addition, a special government committee focusing on combattng bogus self employment said the minimum rate would create uncertainty, had little support, would be hard to put into practice and would be difficult to check.

The plan to introduce freelance declarations for people earning more than €75 a hour has also been scrapped because it would involve too much red tape, Koolmees told MPs.

Koolmees will press ahead with the development of a web-based module which allows employers to determine if someone they want to bring in for a job is classed as self-employed or as an employer according to tax office regulations.

In experiments so far, 48% of the requests showed the job on offer would be considered work for a staffer, not a freelancer.


Despite ditching two key elements in his plans to reduce bogus self employment, Koolmees said the government remains concerned about the growing group of vulnerable self employed people at the bottom of the labour market.

In particular, he said, ‘the cabinet wants to strengthen the position of people working in the platform economy’. Recommendations on possible regulation will be made after the summer, Koolmees said.

Officials have already held exploratory talks with unions and food delivery companies such as Thuisbezorgd.nl, Deliveroo, Uber Eats en NLVVM.

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