Minimum rate for self-employed: there are still many questions

The government has been looking for ways to protect the growing group of self-employed workers. Therefore, a minimum rate will be introduced for all self-employed persons in the Netherlands; self-employed must earn no less than 16 euros per hour. However, the Minister of Social Affairs and Employment presented a proposal for exception rules for self-employed persons with a low rate. The minister has, among other things, set a minimum secondment tariff. The minimum hourly rate must apply from the beginning of 2021, sources say to the NOS.

This minimum rate probably does not apply to all self-employed, but only to business clients who hire self-employed workers. They have to pay their freelancers a minimum of 16 euros per hour. It concerns nearly 600,000 self-employed.

The rule is a part of the replacement of the DBA Act and is intended to protect employees against “fake independence”. This means that the measure does not apply to self-employed persons working for private individuals, such as cleaners, painters and hairdressers. If you, as a private individual, have your hair cut for a tenner, it makes no sense at all that there is an employment contract. Many freelancers are not hired per hour. Think not only of retailers who sell products, but also journalists with a word price, advisers with a price per consultation or delivery staff with a price per package.

Minister Koolmees went on to compare the costs of self-employed with those of someone who works as an employee for 125% of the minimum wage. According to the government, if a self-employed person works for 16 euros per hour, then after deducting all the extra costs that self-employed people have to pay, he will have the same amount as someone employed.

There are further plans for an opt-out for self-employed persons who do short-term assignments (less than one year with the same client) with an hourly rate of 75 euros or more. When hiring above that rate, clients do not have to worry that they have to withhold payroll tax.

For the gap between the minimum rate and the opt-out, clients can request a client statement via a web module. The plans will soon be discussed in the General Consultation in the Lower House.

In short:

  • Self-employed people receive a minimum wage of 16 euros
  • It is easier for the top of the labor market to get certainty in advance
  • Middle group will work with an automatic test to determine an employment relationship

Many questions remain. For more information about this topic read the full article on ZiPconomy (source text in Dutch).

Source: ZiPconomy, 2019.

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