The execution and the enforcement of the controversial DBA Act to deal with false self- employment has been further postponed until 1 July 2018.

The DBA was supposed to replace the Declaration of Independent Contractor Status (VAR), a standard contract required for all independent contractors in the Netherlands.

On 1 May 2016, the relationship between self-employed contractors without employees and employers changed with the removal of the VAR arrangement under which an independent contractor applied to the tax authority for a declaration of independent contractor status. In its place the Dutch government introduced a requirement for work to be carried out on the basis of a contract for services or a self-employed agreement, submitted to the authorities prior to the start of the engagement (DBA). This change removed any guarantee of protection for the employer of the contractor if, in practice, the work was not performed according to the contract.

In the second quarter of 2016 there were 5,000 fewer self-employed compared with last year, according to research by ABN Amro. A survey carried out by ABU showed 4% of freelancers had lost contracts while ZZP Nederland’s said as many as one in 10 were losing work. A Chamber of Commerce study also showed that 18% of the approximately 700,000 freelancers in the country had lost work due to the new legislation.