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Many freelancers still not interested in permanent work contracts


Many freelancers still not interested in permanent work contracts

Many freelancers in the Netherlands do not want a permanent contract, according to a survey by NBBU, the umbrella organization for employment agencies, ahead of the debate on the new self-employed bill. The majority of freelancers are working as self-employed because they want to. Less than 3 percent don’t have a permanent contract because their former employer forced them to be a freelancer, NBBU director Marco Bastian told the Financieele Dagblad.

Under the new law, about 40 percent of freelancers will be entitled to an employment contract with their clients. But, according to the survey NBBU asked research agency SEOR to conduct, many don’t want that.

The most frequently mentioned reasons freelancers gave for being self employed are the ability to decide how much and when they work, their profession is typically carried out by freelancers, and not wanting to work for a boss. Less than 3 percent said their former employer wanted them to work as a freelancer.

According to the NBBU, the majority of freelancers have a financial buffer of six months or more, and 80 percent of households could survive at least three months if their self-employed income disappears.

The self-employed bill will impact freelancers over the age of 55 particularly harshly, the NBBU concluded. “That group is relatively expensive to employ, either due to collective labor agreement requirements or pension obligations. As freelancers, they can still earn a good living and make a valuable contribution to the labor market. You don’t protect them by forcing them into employment,” Bastian said.

According to Bastian, the social and political debate about freelancers needing permanent contracts is based on outdated assumptions. “We will soon cause unnecessary hassle in the tight labor market again,” he told FD. He urged the government to base their legislation on well-researched facts.

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