Bill zzp dossier: repeat of moves

At the beginning of October, outgoing Minister Van Gennip (Social Affairs and Employment) made public the bill "clarifying assessment of employment relationships and legal presumption. The legal presumption of employment under a rate of €32.24 is going to improve the position of vulnerable workers at the base of the labor market. A good proposal that specifically targets the group of working people who deserve more protection. But the proposal to replace the DBA law and the three proposed criteria are not going to provide the needed clarity. In fact, we are heading for the same impasse as in 2016 with the DBA law.

The minister proposes three criteria: 1) what is the work content management like, 2) is there organizational embedding, and 3) does the self-employed person work for his own account and risk. This is merely a ranking of existing case law. The criteria are not sufficiently clearly defined. And it is a missed opportunity that entrepreneurial criteria are not more firmly anchored in the new proposal, even though the House of Representatives has previously expressed a positive opinion on them.

The embedding criterion, which dictates that in principle a self-employed person cannot fill a position that a colleague in permanent employment also performs, is not going to provide the desired clarity. Or worse: many workers who consciously choose self-employment end up in an uncertain situation. The result: a repetition of moves, a gray area and a lot of ambiguity. And if clients, freelancers and intermediaries do not want anything in the current tight labor market, it is unrest.

Self-employed must remain flexible with mandatory disability insurance

Wednesday, Dec. 7, during the Committee on Disability debate, mandatory disability insurance (AOV) was discussed. Plans that only a third of the highly educated self-employed support. However, almost half are in favor if self-insurance is allowed as an alternative. HeadFirst Group supports the principle of an AOV for all self-employed, but choice is a crucial success factor.

AOV with proper choices important
By Jan. 1, 2025, there must be a law for self-employed persons to be compulsorily insured against disability. A simple AOV can be implemented by 2027, more customization means postponement to 2029. Minister Karien van Gennip of Social Affairs and Employment is investigating customization in the form of an opt-out scheme.

Mandatory AOV is significant to protect vulnerable self-employed workers and provide security. At the same time, we must keep an eye on the diversity of the self-employed population with different assignments, starting motives and hourly rates. The option for self-insurance, at least equal in content to the public AOV, can count on support because it fits well with the different wishes and needs of this group of workers.y

Half of self-employed people have nothing arranged yet
Currently, just under half of self-employed people have covered the risks of occupational disability themselves - for example, through a private party or a mutual fund. The most important reasons for highly educated self-employed workers to take out insurance is that they are unwilling (58 percent) or unable (17 percent) to bear the financial risk themselves. Another 11 percent cannot fall back on their partner's income.

Of the self-employed who have not taken out disability insurance, 31 percent say they can bear the financial risk. Furthermore, over a quarter feel the costs do not outweigh the benefits and 15 percent consider the risk of disability low.

For self-employed people who have not yet arranged anything if they become disabled, HeadFirst Group has a low-threshold provision: Select iCommunity Crowdsurance (SiCC). This is a provision based on a donation circle. This also matches the desire of self-employed workers to bridge the 52-week own risk period with a bread fund - desired by 12 percent of research participants - or to shorten the waiting period (35 percent).


Note to editors:
The results of the 'AOV Opinion Monitor 2022' have been compiled in an infographic, which is attached. For more information, contact Natasja Spooren, Teamlead Communications at HeadFirst Group, reachable on 06 - 151 924 85 or

Authority criterion remains a hot topic in labor market file

The Labor Market Policy Committee debate took place last Thursday. The Parliamentary Committee on Social Affairs and Employment spoke with Minister Van Gennip (SZW) about the announced plans to reform the labor market. In the debate, she indicated that she was committed to clarifying the authority criterion to determine whether an employee or self-employed person is involved. That the Cabinet recognizes this and is working toward replacing it is crucial.

Embedding in the organization
The Borstlap Commission proposes to modernize the authority criterion by making "embeddedness in the organization" more central to the assessment of the employment relationship. I am not in favor of giving this criterion more weight, because there is already enough debate about the interpretation of when authority exists. When is a worker "embedded in the organization"? And what tasks are part of "the regular work of an organization"?

In practice, we see just the opposite happening. Hybrid teams with different specialists working on a project basis on solutions and issues of importance to the organization at that time. These are often teams where there are different forms of contracts. The results of the recently published CBS survey support this picture: employers consider the "type of contract" much less important than previously thought. Factors such as knowledge, expertise and work experience are much more important. Will this soon no longer be possible if we deal too rigidly with authority and embedding in the organization?

Great diversity zzp population
In addition, I question the modernization of one general authority criterion. After all, in the Netherlands we are dealing with a very diverse self-employed population. This group of workers has diverse assignments, works for different hourly rates and the duration of assignments is also very different. One authority criterion for this entire target group will therefore not work. We need more customization.

What next?
Currently, the minister is working with the social partners to further develop the proposals. She aims to have the next letters ready before Christmas so that they can be shared with the House of Representatives in January. These letters will clarify how the minister intends to further clarify the authority criterion and form the basis for the debate in February 2023, after which the bills can be shared with the market through an Internet consultation in the summer of 2023.
All in all, it is clear that all parties feel the urgency to tackle false self-employment quickly and keep up the pace. As the largest HR-tech service provider, we will of course remain in dialogue with our stakeholders in The Hague and will act together with our partners.

Note to editors:
For more information: Natasja Spooren, PR & Content Specialist at HeadFirst Group, reachable at 06 - 151 924 85 or

Gender equality in the workplace is not a women's issue

Over 300 companies participated in the SER Diversity in Bedrijf initiative - Diversity Day - on Tuesday, October 4, to draw attention to diversity and inclusion in the workplace. It is important that organizations continue to work on this even after this day.

Alliance and advocacy
Among other things, gender equality is not yet commonplace for many companies. For more women to reach the top, male role models are needed to influence the behavior of other men. Men hold the majority of leadership positions, so the power lies with them to change things. We need their support to help and make a real difference in closing the gender gap and achieving equality in the workplace.

Together with BrandedU, we gathered inspiring stories and experiences from men who have taken the steps and influenced change within their own organizations. From these, we formulated five strategies:

  • Strategy #1 - Use Privilege: use it to open doors for women.
  • Strategy #2 - Create a safe space to be authentic: hold yourself accountable to create inclusive spaces.
  • Strategy #3 - Start breaking the rules: use your position as gatekeeper to change the rules, or better, break them.
  • Strategy #4 - Practice curiosity: ask questions, even the uncomfortable ones.
  • Strategy #5 - Respect: be the one to show your emotions.

Of course, this is not an exhaustive list of actions that can be taken by male leaders to advocate for women's visibility and gender equality. Most of all, we hope it spurs inspiration.

HeadFirst Group is a learning organization in the field of diversity and inclusion. It's about learning and evolving together so we can build a future where workplaces are more diverse and equal. Numbers are not our goal, but effectiveness. As an HR technology service provider, we see a role for our organization in creating a fair labor market.


Inflation driving rate hike for self-employed workers

The ECB announces a 0.5 percentage point jump in interest rates, aiming to stem the surge in euro zone inflation. Motivated in part by current inflation, inflation expectations of 5.2 percent on average and an exceptionally scarce labor market, flexible workers have become on average 4.7 percent more expensive in the first six months of 2022.

The hourly rate of self-employed workers and professionals employed by secondment firms is expected to have increased by an average of 10.3 percent by the end of the year. Over 3 percentage points more than we predicted - in collaboration with labor market data specialist Intelligence Group - in December 2021.

This acceleration, in addition to faster rising inflation, is due to persistent scarcity in the labor market. The number of offers per job was 7 percent lower than in 2021. In addition, the uncertainty surrounding corona has diminished, which was there at the end of 2021 and then caused a small pressure on pricing.

Increase in salaries continues to lag

Salaries are also experiencing record increases, according to recent figures from the employment conditions advisor to Dutch employers AWVN. A record monthly average of 3.8 percent in June puts the average agreed wage increase for the first half of 2022 at 3.1 percent. This does leave salaries behind the Central Planning Bureau's inflation forecast of 5.2 percent on average and the average rate increase of professionals.

Flexible workers benefit more quickly from rate trends because of the succession of different assignments. Of course, it also means that rates are more likely to fall when the labor market is less scarce and inflation is lower, which rarely if ever happens with collective bargaining agreements. Thus, entrepreneurs - which is what zzp'ers and posting agencies are - bear both the joys and the burdens of the important, flexible role they play in keeping our labor market, and thus our economy, running.

Auto mechanics farm well

Auto mechanics can expect the largest hourly rate increase this year at 15.9 percent, followed by printing and arts and crafts workers and welders and sheet metal workers (15.4 percent). In addition, metalworkers and construction workers, radio and television technicians, software and application developers and cabinetmakers, tailors and upholsterers are predicted to benefit from an hourly rate increase of about 15 percent. Construction finishers can expect the lowest hourly rate increase at 6.8 percent, followed by plumbers and pipe fitters (7.3 percent). In addition, hourly rate increases for carpenters, structural construction workers and painters and metal sprayers are not predicted to exceed 8 percent in 2022

About Talent Monitor
Each quarter Intelligence Group and HeadFirst Group make available unique insights on labor market related themes based on Intelligence Group's recruitment and labor market data, combined with HeadFirst Group's hiring data. Download the Talent Monitor 'Update - forecast rate development professionals 2022' on the website.

Flexible workers thrive on calls for additional talent

Flexible workers, more specifically freelancers and professionals employed by secondment agencies, are expected to become seven percent more expensive on average in 2022, I predicted in our Talent Monitor 'Forecast rate development professionals 2022'. According to figures from the Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS), we are heading for this prediction to come true. On average, the price of hiring staff and everything that comes with it went up by more than 5 percent compared to a year earlier.

The use of temporary workers has become more expensive as the demand for additional staff has increased significantly at many companies. Flexible workers can charge a higher hourly rate at the start of a new assignment. The big advantage here is the faster turnover of different assignments. This is more difficult for permanent staff, who are employed by one organization for a longer period of time. Although this group also experiences wage increases, this is generally much slower.

Number of vacancies affects rate hike

In late 2021, based on a rate prediction model developed by labor market data specialist Intelligence Group, we published statements about the expected rate increase/decrease for professionals in 2022. The model is based on nine factors, including the income development of self-employed professionals, inflation, economic growth and the number of open vacancies per 1,000 jobs - the vacancy rate. As this vacancy rate decreases or increases and thus the market becomes tighter or wider compared to the previous year, the rate moves with it. On top of the constant year-over-year increase of 1.8 percent.

These figures add value to professionals and suppliers, who gain insights into their value, as well as to clients, who can use the data to forecast their hiring costs. Simultaneously, we announced an interim update on the forecasts made, we will present these insights in the third week of July 2022.

Enforcement, clarification and renewal of DBA law rules must go hand in hand

Minister of Social Affairs and Employment Karien van Gennip and State Secretary of Finance Marnix van Rij responded last week to two investigations about the lack of enforcement on false self-employment by the Tax Administration. They emphasized that they want to tackle false self-employment "in conjunction". First, the cabinet wants clear rules around the hiring of freelancers, a more level playing field between employees and the self-employed, and research into the consequences of enforcement for controlling agencies. Until there is more clarity, the enforcement moratorium on the DBA law will remain in place.

HeadFirst Group embraces the message of branch organization Bovib (branch organization for intermediaries and brokers), which together with ABU, I-ZO Netherlands, NBBU, RIM and VvDN sent a response to the parliamentary letter on enforcement of the law DBA. We support the ambition to prevent false self-employment and are pleased that the government recognizes the complexity of monitoring distinctions between employment relationships.

Take example of Belgian Labor Relations Act

One of the suggestions described: consider the Belgian Labor Relations Act as a serious option. In the structure of this law, the labor relationship is assessed on criteria specific to the situation where a worker is hired by a client. In this way, more clarity is created, without amending labor law and without affecting workers' rights. Such a structure fits with the fact that the nature of the employment relationship does not depend on one criterion (such as authority relationship), but several in conjunction (for example, also the nature of the assignment, sector or specialty of the worker). Moreover, self-employed workers who, for example, sell products or provide services to individuals (together about half of all self-employed workers) are not affected by this solution.

A setup like the Belgian Labor Relations Act also removes the current objections to the web module. This is because this tool now too often does not provide a definitive answer and does not take into account contextual circumstances surrounding entrepreneurship. Furthermore, the web module is currently not suitable for situations where self-employed persons work from a PLC or through an intermediary.

Meanwhile, the labor market and zzp-dossier gets all the attention in The Hague, with yesterday a debate and today a letter from Minister Van Gennip. HeadFirst Group follows it closely and likes to think along about the assessment criteria, further implementation and enforcement on false self-employment. A well functioning labor market is in all our interests.

Male role models needed for women to reach the top

Gender equality is not yet commonplace for many companies. Just a women's quota for European corporate executives is not enough. In fact, this will change little for the Netherlands, as a women's quota has already been in place here since Jan. 1, 2022. For more women to reach the top, male role models are needed to influence the behavior of other men.

Men hold the majority of leadership positions, so the power lies with them to change things. We need their support to help and really make a difference in closing the gender gap and achieving equality in the workplace.

Gender equality in business

When men participate in gender equality programs, progress is made three times faster than when they do not, Boston Consulting Group United Kingdom research shows. This is the focus of the Men as Advocates for Women's Visibility summit on June 27. It is an initiative to engage men in the conversation about gender equality in business.

As an HR service provider, we see a role for our organization in creating a fair labor market. I am not just talking about gender, but also about work ability, cultural diversity, age and lhbti+. It's about learning and evolving together so we can build a future where workplaces are more diverse and equal.About the summit
The Men as Advocates for Women's Visibility summit organized by personal branding institute BrandedU and HR services provider HeadFirst Group will take place at HeadFirst Group's headquarters in Hoofddorp on Monday, June 27. Our goal is for diversity to become part of companies' DNA. An afternoon full of connections, stories and panel discussions to get inspired with the people who take this topic seriously contributes to this.

Nancy Poleon, founder BrandedU, presents the summit along with Maarten van Rossum (VP of public affairs at Lightyear). They will engage with men active in promoting gender equality in the workplace. Some examples are Baba Touré (Founder & Managing Director at Hammerfest), Clayde Menso (Director at International Theater Amsterdam), Dirk van Zon (HR Business Partner at Rituals), John Olivieira-Siere (Publisher at OneWorld), Melchior de Ridder (CEO at Nationale Nederlanden Next), Michael Kimmijser (Small Medium & Corporate Business Lead at Microsoft), Philippe Stulens (Chief Marketing Officer at Randstad), Rafe Rosato (Chief Innovation Officer at DLL) ánd Han Kolff (Chairman of the Board at HeadFirst Group).

Lower threshold for self-employed workers to properly manage disability

Absenteeism among corporate and government personnel has never been higher than in the first quarter of this year, figures from the Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS) show. After the flu or cold, psychological complaints, overwork and burnout are the most frequently mentioned. In the event that a self-employed person drops out for these reasons, he or she does not receive any benefits, provided they have made their own arrangements.

Of all self-employed people in the Netherlands, more than a third have no provision for disability, representing more than 400,000 self-employed people. Since 2019, that number has fallen by 3 percent to 37 percent.

Zzp'ers want to, but have nothing

Part of the self-employed deliberately choose not to make provision for disability, according to the latest Self-Employed Labor Survey (2021) from CBS. For example, because they can bear the financial risk themselves (25.9 percent) and/or can rely on a partner's income (20.5 percent). Still, there is a large proportion who do want to make provision, but do not think the costs outweigh the benefits (46.6 percent) and/or simply cannot afford it (30.7 percent).

Still open need

In early 2022, Platform Select joined forces with insurtech Alicia. They offer embedded solutions that are made available in an integrated way through connected platforms using APIs. In collaboration with them and crowdsurance specialist Tulpenfonds, we developed an accessible and collective product for disability, as an alternative to individual insurance. A low-threshold solution, called Select iCommunity Crowdsurance (SiCC), which can be purchased in Select with one click.

This updated product prevents professionals from being faced with a surprise in the form of a variable contribution. Furthermore, the e-wallet always provides insight into the benefit to which the self-employed person is entitled. With this, it fits perfectly with our belief that modern work does not have to be at odds with good provisions for the self-employed.

About SiCC

SiCC - a nod to sick - is an endowment-based provision. It is a net benefit for up to two years, in line with the need of professionals to have an affordable, flexible solution that does not pay out until retirement age, but for a framed period. The product is part of the total package of services for entrepreneurs that HeadFirst Group has offered for years, including benefits such as accelerated payment of invoices, various insurances and unlimited online learning in the Select Academy training environment.

Overly rigid rules on hiring self-employed not desired

Last Thursday, Parliamentary questions about enforcement of the DBA law were answered by Minister Van Gennip and on Thursday, June 30, the SZW Committee will debate the zzp dossier. Ahead of this, ZiPconomy published the report "Employee, unless... 8 variants for replacing the DBA law.

A clear overview of all the different proposals made in recent years to replace the DBA law. More importantly, the pros and cons and consequences for the self-employed and clients are detailed. By combining these insights with the correct facts and figures about the self-employed, politicians in The Hague can come to a well-considered decision.

Take into account labor market situation

Two elaborated variants, the proposal of the Borstlap Commission and the ABC test from California, have heavy impact on the freedom of self-employed workers and clients. Given the current tight labor market, it is important not to underestimate these impacts. Employers and clients are crying out for talent and are pulling out all the stops to retain the current population.

I completely agree that there should be clear rules and frameworks for when someone can be hired as a self-employed person. However, too rigid rules are not desirable, because practice shows that the form of contract is becoming less and less decisive. It is therefore important to deal carefully with laws and regulations concerning work and not to restrict workers too much in their choices.

Belgian model good alternative

The report also highlights the Belgian model with the Labor Relations Act. In Belgium, the problem of false self-employment is effectively combated by (1) having a clear set of criteria as to whether someone can perform an assignment as a self-employed person, (2) looking more at the aspects of entrepreneurship and (3) having stricter rules in sectors where the risk of underpayment or vulnerable workers is high. This combination of factors works well in Belgium, so it is interesting to see if we can adopt the positive aspects and improve the less good ones in the Netherlands.

And now?

For now, it is not clear what the next step will be from Minister Van Gennip. Before the summer, an outline letter will go to the House of Representatives on the elaboration of the labor market package. Finally, there will be a response to the report of the Court of Audit before the debate on June 30. We are following developments closely and remain in close contact with MPs and policy staff.

The report "Employee unless... 8 variants for the replacements of the DBA law is available for download on the ZiPconomy website.