Farewell Wet DBA?

Last Friday, Secretary of State decided to put the DBA Act on hold until January 1, 2018. As a result, the Cabinet now has time to look into the legislation’s enforcement. Last Friday, the Compliance Factory organised a meeting on the DBA Act, to discuss the consequences following the announced.

When this announcement was made, Danny op ‘t Hof was attending yet another meeting about this much-discussed piece of legislation on behalf of WIBA IT. During these meetings, information was shared by interested parties, lawyers and other legal specialists. Each time, with a little message about the origin of the act and what people thought about it. During the meetings that I attended, the speakers agreed that it is not a good law. However, it was decided every time to make the best of it with the tools provided to us by the government. The message was clear: the act is here to stay and we have to deal with it.

At the meeting organised by The Compliance Factory, we had reached the second part of the seminar when we heard the news from the hall. “Enforcement Act DBA is suspended until January 1st”. The response from the hall was like that in a local football canteen where the team just won the interim title in the fourth class! A number of people who had been closely involved in discussions in The Hague and at the IRS were congratulated on their efforts. But many people were above all relieved. The enormous pressure everyone felt had gone for now; we can breathe again until a new law is to be faced.

In my comparison above, there is a reason I mention interim title, not a championship. The law still exists and will continue to affect our services (IT sector) and those of our colleagues and competitors. But even when winning a mid-season title, there is cause for celebration. In this case, in a form of relaxation concerning the hiring of freelancers. Nonetheless, we focus on the future and prepare ourselves for when the new law will come into effect in our sector.

What the enforcement will look like exactly is not yet clear, because with the coming elections next March and the report from the Boot commission, there are enough variables in play. In fact, talking about the elections, it is not unthinkable that the entire legislation will be sent back to the drafting efforts.

At the same time, the underlying problem that the responsible minister chose to ignore remains, and that is independent contractors have no place of their own in our economic system. I truly hope, and many people join me in my hopes, that that problem will be a thing of the past on January 1, 2018. Only the time will tell what will happen, but for now, we will give it our all and make the best of it!

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