Uncertainties and expectations surrounding labor market and self-employment legislation after summer in The Hague

In the aftermath of the fall of the Cabinet, political parties will, for now, be mostly preoccupied with questions such as, "Who will be our new party leader?", "Which candidates will be placed on the electoral list?" and "How can we put together an expert and strong committee to write a new party program?" Nevertheless, there is still a missionary House of Representatives that will decide whether a caretaker government can continue to develop certain bills and plans.

Minister Van Gennip (SZW) was well on her way and planning to present some legislative proposals after the summer. One of these proposals was aimed at creating a clearer separation between employees and the self-employed through the criterion of embedding and entrepreneurial criteria as a contraindication to an employment contract. It is possible that the House of Representatives will declare this bill controversial.

If that is the case, the introduction of new legislation will be delayed and there will continue to be (legal) uncertainty for a longer period of time as to when someone is considered an employee and when a self-employed person. We will have to wait and see how relations in the new Lower House develop and what plans a future cabinet will come up with regarding the labor market and the self-employed dossier. An implementation date of January 1, 2025 therefore does not seem realistic.

Disability Insurance
Another important issue is the introduction of compulsory disability insurance (AOV) for the self-employed. This has recently received a lot of attention in the media and has also been hotly debated in the House of Representatives. There is also a chance for this dossier to be labeled controversial. At the same time, the outgoing cabinet finds itself in a difficult position, since the plans were agreed upon in consultation between employers and employees, and the Netherlands has pledged to the European Union to offer the self-employed more protection against the consequences of disability through such insurance.

Enforcement of labor relations
There is also a lot to do on the subject of enforcement of labor relations by the Tax Administration. The coalition agreement stipulates that the enforcement moratorium will end on January 1, 2025. Shortly before the fall of the Cabinet, a motion was passed by the PvdA and GroenLinks to introduce sectoral enforcement, starting in social sectors such as healthcare, education and childcare. This does not require a new law, but it is desirable, including for the Tax Administration itself, to legally make a clearer distinction between employees and the self-employed. In the fall, the Tax Administration will present a new enforcement plan, which will also provide more clarity on the timeline toward January 1, 2025.

These are uncertain and turbulent times in the political arena in The Hague. After the summer recess, we hope to have more clarity on all the plans and bills related to the labor market and the self-employed dossier.