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Dutch cabinet not adopting Boot Committee's main recommendation on ZZP plans

According to Gerrard Boot, Professor of Labour Law, the recommendations of the Committee he chaired on model agreements (Boot Committee) are only partly reflected in the plans of Karien van Gennip, the Dutch Minister of Social Affairs and Employment. The minister is working on a legal presumption of employment below a certain hourly rate and wants organisations to no longer be able to use self-employed workers (known in Dutch as ZZP'ers) if the work they do is 'embedded in the organisation'.

That is more or less what we recommended. But our main recommendation is not reflected in the plans, which was to distinguish between the civil and the tax assessment. That is a missed opportunity. ‘The minister writes that enforcement by the Tax office is likely to become an issue. For example, whether someone is embedded in the organisation can only be conclusively determined in retrospect. To provide clarity in advance, the tax assessment really needs to be simpler. There’s a clear need for this: currently, tax regulations are barely enforced. This is damaging credibility and trust in the government. What’s more, there are vulnerable workers who need protection and are not getting it. They have to go to court first, but only few take that step. I think it’s a task for the legislature to regulate that this vulnerable group of workers is protected’ Boot said in Zipcnomy (in Dutch).

Nevertheless, the former chairman of the Boot Committee also sees the ideas as a good step towards innovation. ‘Entrepreneurship as a criterion - we didn’t mention it, but that’s what we meant’.

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