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If you work in the Netherlands as a self-employed professional (zzp'er) or as a freelancer, you will have to comply with most of the rules in the Working Conditions Act (Arbowet) and the Working Conditions Regulation. You have to comply with all of the rules relating to serious occupational risks and hazards for third parties. There are rules that focus on the health and safety of both yourself and the people you work with, regarding:
- personal protective equipment
- working at height
- working with hazardous substances
- exposure to noise
- hoisting and lifting machines
In a number of situations, additional regulations apply to freelancers/self-employed professionals, including rules governing the use of crop protection products or biocides or governing work in the construction sector. If you want to know which measures you can take to avoid dangerous situations, please contact your sector organisation. They can inform you about the exact working conditions regulations in your sector.
Working at the same location as regular employees
Independent freelancers/self-employed professionals and employees, who work for a company at the same location, are subject to the same health and safety rules. If you work as a freelancer/self-employed professional on your own, you are subject to rules concerning severe risks and hazards for third parties (Working Conditions Act, article 10) and yourself (Working Conditions Act, article 11).
Working hours and rest times
If a freelancer/self-employed professional is working under the authority of a supervisor, they will be considered an employee with regard to the Working Hours Act (Arbeidstijdenwet). This means you must comply with the rules and regulations concerning working hours and rest times. Specific rules apply when you are working in the transport sector or are working on or from a mining installation. In all other situations the number of weekly working hours is not restricted.
Self-employed according to SZW Inspectorate
These rules only apply if the SZW Inspectorate considers you to be a self-employed professional. If a contract of employment or a relationship of authority exists, the SZW Inspectorate might consider you to be an employee or an employer. If this is the case, other rules will apply. The actual situation in the workplace will be decisive.
Hiring self-employed professionals
If you are an employer and you hire freelancers/self-employed professionals, you must give these workers the same protection against industrial hazards on the work floor as you do for your permanent employees. You must inform the freelancers/self-employed professionals of the regulations and risks that concern your company.