Goodbye flexible worker, hello permanent employee – Why you need to act now to keep your workforce flexible – Employment and HR


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It’s harder than ever to find the right person for your company’s vacancy.

If you are lucky enough to find someone, you face another problem:

How do you retain this employee in your company while ensuring that your workforce remains flexible in this demanding and changing market?

In this article, we discuss what flexible workforce means, why it is important for an entrepreneur, what it means for you as a business, what is the impact of the new law on labor job market and what you can do now to avoid impact on your business.

Why do you want a flexible workforce?

The local and international market is changing rapidly. The demand for various goods and services is growing, but the threat that the markets will not always rise makes employers cautious. What if the financial bubble bursts, especially since dismissal is not easy in the Netherlands?

One solution is to keep a core group of your employees and have another flexible workforce group. This makes your business agile in times of growth and also in times when you need less manpower.

Hiring flexible workers has therefore become increasingly popular.

“Too popular” believe various courts in the Netherlands and abroad.

Due to the way the flexible workforce is used, where many freelancers earn little but are not insured for sickness or lack of work, judges around the world have stepped in.1.

Deliveroo and Uber are examples where the courts have ruled that it is a modern way of working, not an independent relationship.

In the process, the Dutch legislator now wants to protect all these so-called freelancers by imposing far-reaching legislative measures on freelancers who hire principals.

Upcoming legislation to protect the self-employed – and is it preventing your business from being nimble?

In June 2021, the Dutch Economic Social Council presented the upcoming bill concerning not only the self-employed, but various flexible workforce options, such as limited-term employment contracts, custodial contracts, zero hour contracts.2.

In summary, this means that short-term employment contracts, as well as employment contracts of temp agencies will be strictly limited in time and that self-employed / contractors, earning 35 euros per hour or less, will be presumed to have a employment contract according to law with the principal, unless the principal cannot prove otherwise.

The impact for your business is that your self-employed people could suddenly become your employees and you have to pay social security contributions, payroll taxes and pension contributions retroactively. Indeed, the law assumes that what is paid to the self-employed person, once he has the status of employee, is a net amount, and you, as employer, must pay all the contributions and taxes in more than what you have already paid to the freelancer.

In addition to the financial risk, the legislator wants to force you to no longer have an internal core of employees and an additional pool of freelancers and flexforce employees.

This means you won’t have enough staff to deliver services at your client’s demand, or too many employees on your payroll with too few orders to work on.

What can you do to prevent this from happening to your business?

In order to maintain your optimal workforce mix, you first need to know what part of your work is currently being done by what type of worker.

It is only when you know it that you can take the appropriate action in the new frameworks to come.

At ACG International, we have set up a survey, the “Flexible Workforce Analysis Survey“which has already helped companies active in the Netherlands assess their current situation and obtain information enabling them to take the next steps.

If you would like help with the first steps of this analysis, take our survey, on the basis of which you will:

  1. Assess the current state of your workforce, including which members of the workforce are affected by the proposed changes to the law
  2. Identify the specific current challenges your business faces in maintaining the flexibility of your workforce
  3. Understand the next steps your business needs to take to maintain market agility without employing all the freelancers you currently use

The advantages for you of participating in the Flexible Workforce Analysis Survey Are you going :

  • Understand exactly what contribution your current flexible workforce is adding to your business
  • Get a clear overview of the steps your business needs to take to maintain flexibility even after the law has changed
  • Receive a holistic and independent, comparative view of the current situation

If you want to know where your business stands in relation to others and what steps you need to take to stay flexible and competitive, take the Flexible Workforce Analysis Survey now.

To do this, send me an email at [email protected] to request access to the survey. If you have additional questions on anything covered above, you can include those questions in your email and I will respond to them personally.

I look forward to being in touch with you!


Amsterdam District Court, January 15, 2019, ECLI: NL: RBAMS: 2019: 198 (Deliveroo)
Amsterdam District Court, September 26, 2019, ECLI: NL: RBAMS: 2019: 6292 (Deliveroo)
Amsterdam Court of Appeal, February 16, 2021, ECLI: NL: GHAMS: 2021: 392 (Deliveroo)
UK Court of Appeal, June 24, 2021, [2021] EWCA Civ 952 (Delivery)
UK Labor Court, October 28, 2016, 2202550/2015 (Uber)
Amsterdam District Court, September 13, 2021, ECLI: NL: RBAMS: 2021: 5029 (Uber)
Amsterdam Court of Appeal, September 21, 2021, ECLI: NL: GHAMS: 2021: 2741 (Helpling)

2. Strengthen the agility and resilience of our economy and provide greater security to people (SER), 2021

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide on the subject. Specialist advice should be sought regarding your particular situation.

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