In the first corona year, there were 130,000 more employed people than in 2019 whose labor income dropped at least 10 percent. In particular, flexible workers and the self-employed experienced lagging growth in labor income, reports following the CPB study "Development of labor income during corona. An important nuance: this does not apply to all self-employed workers.

Impact COVID-19 on external hiring
The impact of corona on highly skilled self-employed workers in 2020 was minimal. Naturally, in principle, we saw a setback in new hiring requests and hours worked. Fortunately, the positive trend gently set in from May. The number of professionals whose assignments were specifically terminated also remained very limited.

Three reasons underlie this; 1) highly skilled freelancers can perform work at clients largely remotely, 2) they are often employed in mission-critical processes of organizations, with the result that these projects just kept going, and 3) government organizations make extensive use of externals, they proved to be a stable hiring force at the time of the corona crisis.

Importance of reforms
According to CPB, the published figures show that it is important to reform the labor market, central to which can be the reduction of the distinction between permanent and flexible work and the promotion of economic independence. To make the right choices in this regard, facts and properly interpreted figures are indispensable. An example: the distribution of wealth among the self-employed is greater than among employees, for example in terms of annual income and financial buffer. The self-employed are overrepresented both in the lower income brackets (less than €20,000 per year) and in the higher income brackets (more than €50,000 per year).

Do care for vulnerable self-employed
HeadFirst Group embraces the plans to protect (forced) self-employed with lower hourly rates and small financial buffers, for example against the consequences of disability and unemployment. At the same time, legislation should not have a negative impact on the growing group of highly skilled professionals, who sell their own labor to clients and consciously choose self-employment. Customization is thus essential to protect vulnerable self-employed professionals while facilitating innovation and entrepreneurship.

In the report "The self-employed do exist. Facts about the self-employed without personnel.' - prepared by independent knowledge platform ZiPconomy - HeadFirst Group lists valuable facts, figures and insights about the self-employed. It is free to download via the website.