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.

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