Coalition agreement notes
The long-awaited Rutte IV does not end the position of the self-employed on the labor market. A striving for a legal definition of the self-employed person was still four years ago. In this area, the Cabinet phase is not progressing beyond the further development of a web module that has not yet surpassed the pilot. Also in the field of a social system for the self-employed, VZN has to conclude that the intention to arrive at a modern social safety net for the self-employed is lacking. The new cabinet should serve.
The coalition parties want to modernize the labor market. Like VZN, they consider ‘independent self-employed persons important for a flourishing society and economy’. The cabinet really wants to support and encourage the self-employed, and expresses the ambition to strengthen the self-employed. Cristel van de Ven, chairman of the Dutch Self-Employed Association (VZN): “We support that ambition. After years of uncertainty about their labor market position. The plans in this coalition agreement are still extremely vague. The promised one still seems far away.”
As far as VZN is concerned, a separate legal position for the self-employed is still preferable to the web module. They can count on very little from clients or independently. Van de Ven: “The web module does not give contracting parties the much-needed certainty in advance about the possibility of concluding an assignment agreement. A position of its own for the self-employed does offer that certainty”.
Modernization of the labor market
The government is talking about a very substantial and accelerated reduction in the self-employed deduction and about compulsory disability insurance. VZN asks the cabinet to combine these points in the elaboration, in order to take the modernization of our labor market a step. The association under employment conditions the need to create a good safety net for the self-employed with which they can cover their entrepreneurial and social risks. VZN argues in favor of converting current tax provisions, such as the self-employed person’s allowance, into a tax incentive to build up a buffer of independent entrepreneurial risks such as a drop in demand, old-age provision, qualification obsolescence and illness. Ideally, this thick buffer should be built up on a separate account. Compensating for the self-employed person’s deduction through an increase in the employed person’s tax credit is an option, but cannot replace the tax-facilitated ‘trampoline’, as previously proposed and elaborated by VZN. VZN will be happy to further elaborate the new plans in this area in consultation with you. “We like to think along about concrete solutions, as the voice of the 100,000 affiliated self-employed,” says Van de Ven.
Finally, VZN uses the formateur to appoint a State Secretary for the Self-employed at the Ministry of Economic Affairs, following the Belgian example. Van de Ven: “That request to continue the position of the self-employed as entrepreneurs, supported by the fact that this cabinet term does succeed in gaining independence and clarity about their labor market position”.