Statutory schemes of social security (Directive 79/7)

AuthorMarlies Vegter
7 Statutory schemes of social security (Directive 79/7)
7.1 General (legal) context
7.1.1 Surveys and reports on the practical difficulties linked to statutory schemes of social
security (Directive 79/7)
There are no surveys and/or reports over the last five years about gender issu es in social
security. There are debates on the fact that self-employed people, including false self-
employed workers, are not cove red by social security, but this concerns both men an d
women. A gender perspective may arise in regard to domestic workers who work four days
a week or less in a private household. These workers are, by law, excluded from the social
security system. They are predominantly female. This reduced protection has been
criticised by, inter alia, the European Commission and CEDAW, but so far , the Dutch
Government has not taken any concrete steps to improve the situation. 158
A relevant d evelopment is t he increase in flexible emplo yment. Between 2005 and 2015
the percentage of women with a flexible contract increased from 14 % to 20 %. For men
these percentages are 10 % and 16 %.159 In 2016, 20 % of women had a flexible contract
compared to 16 % of men. On-call contracts in particular are more often used for women
than for men. An important explanation for this is that these contracts are frequently used
in the health care branch, a sector in which many women work.
In itself, flexible employment does not need to be a problem for social security rights,
since these rights are related to the number of hours worked. In order to qualify for
unemployment benefit, workers must have lost five working hours per week. Workers will
thus have to ma ke clear that they worked at l east five hours a week and that they lost
these hours. The unemp loyment benefit is calculated on, the basis o f the salary that h ad
been earned in the previous year. In this way on-call workers can also qualify for
unemployment benefit if their work stops. However, if the work is less in one week
compared to the previous one, this decrease in income is n ot covered by the
unemployment benefit. The loss of income must have some continu ity permanence. If a
worker resumes on-call work during a period of unemployment, their benefit will be
reduced by their earned income. If the work income is more than 87.5 % of the former
wage, the unemployment benefit stops.
The situation is, of course, different for self-employed people. They are not entitled to any
social security for workers if their w ork stops. Apart from schemes for Dutch residents,
such as health care, old-age and survivors sch emes and voluntary insurance, they can
only fall back on social assistance. However, the social partners reached an agreement on
the introduction of a compulsory di sability insurance for self-empl oyed people without
personnel. The government has asked the social partners to present a proposal in this
respect before the summer of 2020.160
7.1.2 Other relevant issues
Social security rights are calculated on an individual basis. Social assistance and the
general old-age pension are lower per person where two people are marri ed or living
together than twice the individual rate. The old- age pension for an individu al is 70 % of
the net minimum wage, whereas for married people or people living together it becomes
158 See about this group: Cremers, E. and Bijleveld, L. W. (2010) Een baan als alle andere?! De rechtspositie
van deeltijd huishoudelijk personeel (A job like all others?! The legal position of part-time household
workers.), Leiden, and the addendum by Bijleveld, L.W., Leiden, 2015.
159 SCP/CBS (2016), Emancipatiemonitor 2016, pp. 75-76:
160 Rijksoverheid, Verplichte arbeidsongeschiktheidsverzekering voor zelfstandigen (Compulsory disability
insurance for self-employed persons):

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