November 29, 2020

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Supreme Court: Independent contract doesn’t count, it’s about practice

Supreme Court: Independent contract doesn't count, it's about practice

Self-employed people who believe they are actually employed now have more ammunition to enforce an employment contract or, for example, severance pay. That’s because a statement of the Supreme Court, the highest judicial authority in the country. He decided today that what matters is not what is stipulated in an agreement, but what the employment relationship looks like in practice.

When a self-employed person and employer have an agreement, it is intended that the work be done on a freelance basis. This has been the most important thing for judges for years. Even if the self-employed person does the same work in practice as colleagues with an employment contract, the self-employed person cannot enforce an employment contract if he so wishes.

With the ruling of the Supreme Court, this way is more open, concludes the labor lawyer Pascal Besselink from the legal service provider DAS. “If you are a self-employed nurse or construction worker doing the same job as your colleagues and are not satisfied with it, this statement is a must.”

But other things also play a role in the discussion that you will then have, warns Besselink. “For example, is there a relationship of authority? Can you appoint your replacement yourself? Are you entitled to wages during illness? Are you required to wear certain clothes? The debate is still going on.”

Unions satisfied