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ACM: Independent contractors allowed to make arrangements about minimum income in the Netherlands

Christian Fernsby ▼ | July 23, 2019
Independent contractors are allowed to make collective arrangements about rates in order to earn a minimum income.
Netherlands workers
European businesses   Netherlands workers
This has been laid down in the draft version of the ‘Guidelines regarding price-fixing among independent contractors’.

These guidelines tie in with the initiatives of the Dutch Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment to improve the positions of low-skilled independent contractors.

Martijn Snoep, Chairman of the Board of ACM, explains: “We want to make markets work well for people and businesses.

Markets cannot work well if independent contractors earn less than the living wage as a result of low hourly rates.

These guidelines reveal what options independent contractors have to improve their financial positions.”

Independent contractors sometimes want to make collective arrangements regarding higher rates.

This is usually not allowed, because price-fixing agreements made by businesses often distort competition, which leads to higher prices for consumers.

These guidelines show what room independent contractors have for making arrangements that are in accordance with the Dutch Competition Act.

Independent contractors who work side by side with one or more employees, and who, in day-to-day operations, are indistinguishable from those employees are, for that particular job, not considered ‘undertakings’ within the meaning of the Dutch Competition Act.

In that case, the cartel prohibition will not apply to that independent contractor.

They are allowed to make collective arrangements about rates for that particular job.

This is also allowed as part of collective bargaining agreements.