Workers rights in the Netherlands during Corona
It cannot have escaped you: corona has disrupted everything. We have listed some links with information for you here. We rely on information from the mainstream unions. The information in those links will also be updated so keep an eye on the situation in the upcoming weeks.
Important to know in any case: all normal rights you have as a worker also apply now. So your boss / manager cannot pressure you or drop you like that with the argument “yes, but corona …”. Also, even if you work in critical industries, they cannot force you to work if you dont feel well. The general advice applies to everyone: especially if you feel sick, stay at home! In addition, there are special arrangements related to the virus. Help spread this information.
The FNV information is available in the following languages: English, Bosnian, Bulgarian, Chinese, Croat, Czech, Estonian, French, German, Hungarian, Latvian, Lithuanian, Polish, Romanian, Russian, Serbian, Slovak, Slovenian, Spanish and Turkish. Help spread this information to migrant communities. You can find the translations on a computer by clicking the globe on the top right of the page (right next to “Zoeken” in the menu bar). You can find it on the phone by clicking the menu bars at the top right, then it is at the bottom.
Other information regarding workers’ rights which might be valuable to you in these times:
2. Are you ill? If you work for a company, you are (often) entitled to money.
Do you have a permanent contract, see https://www.fnv.nl/werk-inkomen/ziekte-re-integratie/ziektewetuitkering/loon-bij-ziekte-vast-contract
Do you have a temporary contract, see https://www.fnv.nl/werk-inkomen/ziekte-re-integratie/ziektewetuitkering/loon-bij-ziekte-tijdelijk-contract
3. Do you have a call, 0 hours, min-max or temporary contract? Read your rights in general here. These now also apply.
0 hours: https://www.fnv.nl/werk-inkomen/contract/arbeidscontract/nulurencontract
4. A different situation applies to freelancers in this crisis: https://info.fnvzzp.nl/faq-voor-zzpers-in-de-coronacrisis. Unfortunately, this brochure is not yet available in other languages. See below for a short English summary:
“Extra temporary suppport for freelancers (ZZP’ers), within four weeks for a maximum of three months:
– ZZP’ers with financial trouble can apply for a temporary arrangement for three months in the form of extra money to live and/or for company capital. This grant will increase the income up to the social minimum. This is dependent on your income and the make-up of your household, up to a maximum of 1500,- euros. You do not have to pay this back. Your assets and those of your partner will not be included in deciding whether or not you get this.
– You can apply for a loan for company capital to solve liquidity problems. Up to 10.157,-. There will be a possibility to postpone paying this back. The interest will be low.
– There will be a Noodloket (Emergency Office) which will give a grant to entrepreneurs affected directly by government measures as a result of the coronacrisis, who because of that have seen their turnover disappear in whole or in part. This applies to physical businesses outside of the home who have been forced to shut down or who get into trouble because of the demand to stay 1.5 metres apart. This will be 4.000 euros.
– Entrepreneurs can ask for postponement iof taxes by sending a letter to the tax service. After the letter has been received, you receive immediate postponement of payments. They will judge your request later. So you do not immediately need to include the socalled “statement of a third expert.”
– On cancellation of assignments: whether or not you are entitled to (part of) the money you agreed upon for an assignment, depends on the contract you made regarding this. If nothing is mentioned regarding these situations in the contract, the law applies (art 7:408 Lid 1 BW). This states that the client can cancel the assignment-agreement at any time, for any (and even no) reason. Of course, hours that already have been worked still need to be paid! But what if you did not agree upon an hourly rate, but instead a sum for all the work? Then according to the law (art 441 lid and lid 2 BW) you are entitled to a reasonable wage. In this reasonable wage, one takes account of the work you have already done, the benefit of this to the client and the basis upon which [s]he cancelled the assignment. It will be clear that this arrangement leaves considerable space for discussion and because of that also for legal conflicts regarding payment. Perhaps it is possible to come up with an alternative solution like postponing the work untill a later date. This will not give you money right away, but will help retain a client for when times get better.
– See if there are possibilities to change things around in your company. Perhaps you can get products from different suppliers or offer services in another region.
– Perhaps you can get some money for your company by collecting on bills that have not yet been paid. You can also think about ‘factoring’, which is a form of credit in which you get paid realtively quickly.
– See if you can make deals with people you owe money, if you can pay them over a longer period of time.
– See if external financing is possible. Always ask your own bank first, before you consider different forms of financing. (Also see the BMKB -arrangement. Freelancers can make use of this as well.)
Can I contact FNV Zelfstandigen for help if I cannot make a deal with my client?
Yes, we have a specialised legal department for this. It is important to contact us IN TIME. If you are wondering if your assignment can just be cancelled like that or if you are entitled to money, contact us before the situation escalates.”
Are you stuck? We are not a legal organization. If you are a member of a large union, contact them. They have more people with more knowledge about changing laws and regulations. If not, you can always send us an email (info[a]vloerwerk.org) and we can see if we can help you.
We are an organization with street actions and other face-to-face forms of action as the main tactics. We often also hand out flyers to large numbers of people with these actions. We also need to get together to organize these actions. Organizing a campaign seems very difficult at the moment. Vloerwerkers are, however, thinking about how we can be in solidarity with each other in these times. This overview article is an example of this.
Do you or does an organization that you are involved in have ideas about this, and do you think that Vloerwerk can contribute to this? Send us an email at info[a]vloerwerk.org