It is harder than ever to find the right person for the job vacancy your company has.

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

How do you keep this employee loyal to your company and at the same time ensure that your work force remains flexible in this challenging 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 company, what the impact is of the new law on the labour market and what you can do now to prevent the impact on your company.

Why do you want flexible workforce at all?

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

One of the solutions is to keep a core group of your employees and have another group of flexible work force. That makes your company agile in times of growth and also in times where you need less workforce.

Engaging flexible workers has therefore become increasingly popular.

"Too popular" think various courts in The Netherlands and abroad.

As a result of the way the flexible workforce is used, where many freelancers earn little but are not insured in the event of illness or lack of work, judges around the world have intervened1.

Deliveroo and Uber are examples where the courts have ruled that it is a modern way of employment and not a freelance relationship.

Following on from this, the legislator in the Netherlands now wishes to protect all these so-called freelancers by imposing far-reaching measures under the law upon the principals' engaging freelancers.

Upcoming legislation to protect freelancers – and does it prevent your business from being agile?

In June 2021 the Dutch Social Economic Council presented the blueprint of the upcoming legislation regarding not only freelancers but various options of flexible work force, such as employment agreements for limited time, on-call agreements, zero-hour contracts2.

In a nutshell this means that short term employment contracts, as well as temp agency employment contracts will be strictly limited in time and freelancers/contractors, earning Euro 35,= per hour or less, shall be presumed to have an employment contract by law with the principal, unless the principal can prove otherwise.

The impact for your business is that your freelancers might suddenly have become your employees and that you have to pay social premiums, wage taxes and pension fund contributions retroactively. This is because 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 have to pay all the premiums and taxes on top of what you already paid to the freelancer.

On top of the financial risk the legislator wants to force you to no longer having an inner core of employees and an additional pool of freelancers and flexforce employees.

This means that you will either not have enough staff to deliver services upon demand of your customer, or too many employees on your payroll with too little orders to work on.

What can you do to prevent this from happing to your company?

In order to keep the composition of your workforce optimal, you must first know which part of your work is currently done by which type of worker.

Only when you know that, you can take the appropriate measures within the coming new frameworks.

At ACG International, we have set up a survey, the "Flexible Workforce Analysis Survey" which has already helped companies, active in The Netherlands, to assess their current situation and get insights for them being able to take the next steps.

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

  1. Assess the current status 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 company is facing regarding retaining flexibility in your workforce
  3. Understand the next steps your company should take to retain agility in the market without employing all freelancers you are using at the moment

The benefits for you of taking part in the Flexible Workforce Analysis Survey are that you will:

  • Understand exactly what contribution your current flexible workforce adds to your business
  • Get a clear overview of steps to be taken by your company to keep the flexibility even after the law has changed
  • Receive a holistic and independent, benchmarked view on the current situation

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

To do so, send me an email to to request access to the survey. If you have additional questions anything covered above, you can include those questions in your email and I will personally answer them.

I'm looking forward to being in touch with you!


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

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

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.