Self-Employed In The Times Of Corona


Sign the petition to encourage the government to give benefits to self-employed people during the pandemics and the shutdown in The Netherlands.

3 month B.C. (Before Corona) The Dutch economy was expected to grow by 1.4 percent in 2020 and 1.6 percent in 2021, according to the latest estimations by central planning office CPB. The impacts of the virus on the economy could not have been taken into account back then. And even less now, during the time of the shutdown, we can predict further implications on the economy. 

Based on the negative scenario of coronavirus outbreak, proposed in the CPB report, the Dutch economy growth can be as low as 0.5 percent in 2020 and 0.3 percent in 2021, which will result in severe economic losses.

Given the current situation, there will be long-term effects on the economy resulting from the temporary shutdown, however the layer of governmental benefits and employment contracts securities will prevent the majority of the population from experiencing the direct economic impacts.

Now, if we look at the other part of the working population – out of 17 million people, 1.1 million is self-employed in the Netherlands. ZZPer in the Netherlands are neither protected by their companies’ contracts nor are receiving any kind of benefits and subsidies in most of the cases. Small businesses owners often have employees to whom they need to pay salaries despite the circumstances. Thus, entrepreneurs and self-employed people are the first ones to experience negative effects of any crisis situation, particularly the coronavirus shutdown.This applies to almost all industries apart from online services, which in particular cases are even benefitting from the current situation.

Dutch Minister of Economic Affairs – Eric Wiebes has especially mentioned the upcoming decline in income for many self-employed people, however his response towards the situation was that:

“self-employed people have consciously chosen to not be employed, thus they have to take risks into consideration themselves”. 

Now, it is true that a certain degree of risk and uncertainty comes with the choice of being self-employed or owning a business. Among such risks are the problems of seasonality and demand, personal well-being, employee turnover rates, competition in the market, price drops, increase of the costs of operations and so on. However, the Coronavirus Pandemic or any other nation-wide disease or catastrophy are not the kind of risks entrepreneurs can consider in their cash-flow prognoses, neither should they. If the governments, that have access to way larger amounts of resources, could not react to the issue in a prompt matter, how could small businesses adjust to it painlessly meanwhile?

Needless to mention all the benefits that entrepreneurs and self-employed people bring to the economy and its level of innovation. 

It’s the moment like this that might encourage or discourage people from choosing entrepreneurial paths, and it’s up to the government to act in a centralized way to make sure self-employed people and business owners are not only shielded from financial losses but also feel the support of the government and the community.

Currently, there is no centralized way for small businesses and self-employed individuals to receive tax exemptions, additional funds and compensations. We believe that it’s the government’s responsibility to support parts of the population which are the most affected by the upcoming crisis. 

That’s why we encourage you to sign the petition for self-employed people to receive benefits from the government to cover their losses.