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Netherlands – Independent contractors happier than ever

18 March 2014

The vast majority of skilled freelancers prefer their current situation to the permanent employment relationship, according to a survey conducted by the Dutch firm Interim Puls.

As many as 71% of these respondents indicated they preferred working as independent contractors. Furthermore, they rated their current professional situation an average mark of 7.6, with 10 the top mark. This is one of the conclusions of the half-yearly survey from Interim Puls, a job board that brings together the self-employed and potential clients.

The survey results revealed that bookings have risen sharply after two periods of decline, in the second half of 2013 the number of bookings increase by +9.6% compared to the first half of the year. The average hourly rates over the second half year increased slightly to €90.80 (excluding VAT). The company’s own Interim Market Index (indication of the trend in sales) stood at 55.9 points compared to 50.2 points in the first half of 2013. This is the highest level since 2010.

In addition, the survey results indicated that large companies accounted for 37% of the clients of the respondents; while the public sector and SMEs represented 31.0% and 31.4% of clients, respectively. Respondents also stated that, on average, larger clients pay higher fees; while fees paid by public sector and SME clients were comparable.

Finally, the press release indicated that new jobs mostly arise through the independent contractors’ own professional network (77%), and the remaining 22% via intermediaries. The survey also indicated that dealing directly with clients results in higher fees: on average an extra €13.22.

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