The Employment Relationships Deregulation Act (wet DBA)

The Employment Relationships Deregulation Act (Wet DBA) is a law relating to self-employed professionals and their clients. Its goal is to give clarity about the employment relationship between the client and entrepreneur.

Prevent false self-employment with Wet DBA

False self-employment is a situation where you take on an assignment as an entrepreneur, but your situation is closer to paid employment. In this case, the client should pay your employee taxes. Together with your client, you are responsible for deciding on the working relationship you enter into. Check together to see if your situation fits better as a paid employment relationship.

If you are not sure, use a model agreement (in Dutch). This is a basic agreement which defines the relationship between you and your client. The Dutch Tax and Customs Administration provides model agreements for most situations. Together with your client, you decide which model agreement suits your situation. By following the terms in the model agreement, you prevent false self-employment. Using a model agreement is not a legal requirement, however, it can provide more certainty.

Does the Tax Administration see you as a false self-employed person? Then there are risks for both you and your client. For example, an additional tax assessment, a fine, or even the loss of possible tax benefits.

Upcoming changes to the law

The DBA Act will not be fully enforced. However, the Tax Administration will take action if the client deliberately breaks the rules or does not follow the given instructions.

A new law for self-employed workers and clients will take effect in 2025. This was published in a parliamentary letter on 16 December 2022 (in Dutch). The new law aims to create a more level playing field between self-employed and salaried employees. It will also be clearer when work is done as an employee, and when work is done as a self-employed person. Furthermore, the enforcement of false self-employment will be improved.

Model agreements are valid for 5 years

A model agreement is valid for 5 years after it is approved by the Tax Administration (in Dutch). The Tax Administration states until when the model agreement is valid. Reusing an expired model agreement no longer offers certainty. You cannot find expired model agreements on the Tax Administration’s website.

Do you want to continue using a model agreement? The original applicant can apply for an extension from the Tax Administration (in Dutch). It is advised to do this at least 2 months before the expiry date. If the original applicant does not arrange an extension, use another model agreement. You can adjust parts of the model agreement to better suit your situation.

Web Module Assessing Employment Relationships (WBA)

Many clients do not understand what rules apply to hiring self-employed professionals. In order to provide more clarity, they can consult the Web Module Assessing Employment Relationships (Webmodule Beoordeling Arbeidsrelatie, WBA). This is an online survey. By answering the questions, your client can see if the assignment will be regarded as paid employment or not.

The module can produce three possible results: 

  1. Indicates not employment 
  2. Indicates employment
  3. No opinion 

Using the web module is not required by law. The result is an indication and is not legally binding. The web module is only for clients based in the Netherlands outsourcing a job to a self-employed professional in the Netherlands. 

Not self-employed

Sometimes the court makes a ruling on whether someone is self-employed or an employee. For example, a Dutch Supreme Court ruled (in Dutch) that the takeaway delivery staff of Deliveroo are employees. Previously, the Amsterdam Court of Appeal ruled that delivery drivers of the British company are not self-employed and have an employment contract. A number of PostNL delivery drivers and Uber drivers were also deemed employees by the court in Amsterdam.