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Emma van der Vos in Trouw on domestic workers’ right to unemployment benefit

Due to an exception in the law, domestic workers employed by private persons cannot automatially benefit from social security schemes. Home help Carol Kollmann did not agree with this and took her case to court.

Emma van der Vos

Kollmann is not the only one: in the Netherlands there are 40,000 to 60,000 care providers who are paid with money from the personal care budget (known in Dutch as the pgb) and, like Kollmann, work under the Regeling dienstverlening aan huis, a regulation covering services provided in the home. 'The regulation was once intended to reduce the paperwork of private persons with a home help – the employers – and to keep domestic work out of the black economy’, says PhD candidate Emma van der Vos in Dutch newspaper Trouw.

But the responsiblity to make black economy work ‘white’, i.e. official, and to arrange social security cover was placed fully with the home help.  They have to register with the Dutch Employee Insurance Agency (UWV), pay contributions and arrange insurance for themselves in this way. 'I imagine that almost no-one does this because the contributions are so high and this is not exactly well-paid work’, Van der Vos says. The UWV has no figures on this. 

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