Union: No social services for freelancers, self-employed

The leader of the FNV union, Ton Heerts, spoke against social services for freelancers in an interview with FD. He says self-employed people making use of disability, sickness and unemployment benefits undermines the entire social welfare system.

Heerts disagreed with the employers' organization AWVN that proposes a more favorable social system for the self-employed. He argued that social services for self-employed are at the expense of regular workers and employers who pay full taxes.

Employers can often reduce costs by hiring self-employed individuals who pay less taxes than regular workers, which conflicts with the labor union push for more permanent contracts.

"I am not completely against self-employed, I am against forced self-employment," Heerts said. He said that because of the benefit there is "a blurring between employment and entrepreneurship" in the Netherlands. Heerts believes that these tax benefits should be abolished because regular taxpayers bear their costs.

Several political parties, such as D66 and PvdA, favor legal equalization of self-employed and those with a permanent contract. "Employers and political parties that advocate it put an ax to the root of the welfare state for which we have fought for a hundred years," Heerts responded.