Food delivery cyclists to get up to €18/hour minimum wage under new Dutch cabinet

The new Dutch government is implementing an hourly minimum wage of between 15 and 18 euros for meal deliverers, cleaners and other freelancers or self-employed who work at a low rate, RTL Nieuws reported after getting a look at the VVD, CDA, D66 and ChristenUnie's plans for freelancers.

The parties believe that anyone earning below that minimum wage, can not afford the basic necessities as a freelancer or self-employed person. Anyone earning the minimum wage or lower, will therefore no longer be considered self-employed. This means that the Tax Authority will consider these people as permanently employed, which in turn means that their employer must pay things like holiday pay and employee insurance premiums, according to the broadcaster.

The new government hopes that this will discourage payroll constructions in which companies hire low-paid workers as freelancers in order to bypass staff costs and a collective bargaining agreement. For example, earlier this year it became known that Deliveroo and UberEats don't employ their delivery staff as permanent workers, but as freelancers. As a result, the mostly young deliverers receive no social protection and extras like holiday pay, paid sick leave and unemployment insurance. 

Most freelancers and self-employed earn well above this minimum wage, according to the broadcaster. This measure is aimed primarily at counteracting abuses at the very bottom income group among freelancers. 

Mariette Patijn of union FNV called it a "missed opportunity" that the new government did not include compulsory occupational disability insurance in this plan. Many freelancers and self-employed don't have insurance against occupational disability because it is expensive, though it is worth while. "As long as it is not mandatory to insure yourself, it will stay difficult for self-employed who do so to compete with those who don't." she said to RTL.