Construction industry federation wants its members to be able to take on flexible freelancers
With the ever-increasing number of vacancies in the construction industry meaning that some companies have to put back work that they had been scheduled to do, the industry federation Bouwunie has called for “flexible freelancers” to be taken on in order that construction companies are able to meet their deadlines. These are self-employed construction workers that would work on a site when things are busy and leave as the amount of work at the site diminished.
Bouwunie’s Jean-Pierre Waeytens told VRT News that the advantage to companies of being able to take on freelancers is "If there is less work a self-employed person can leave quite easily without the need for the payment of a lot of severance pay”.
A self-employed person could simple move between building sites and work for various companies according to their needs and work levels.
Currently there are certain barriers to a self-employed people being able to join a construction site team made up of workers that are employed by a construction company. One such barrier is the fear that the Social Inspectorate might consider their status as self-employed to be bogus.
A bogus self-employed person is a self-employed person that only takes on work from one company and as such has a fixed arrangement with that company in the same way that someone that was employed directly would.
The only difference being that a bogus self-employed person doesn’t enjoy the same social protection and advantages (holiday pay, bonuses for anti-social hours etc.) as someone that is employed directly. With its call Bouwunie hopes to open up the debate about greater flexibility on the labour market.
In addition to its call for more self-employed people to be taken on on building sites Bouwunie also calls for the rules on overtime to be relaxed. This would also serve to extend flexibility with workers working longer hours during busy periods and working less when things are quiet.