Workgroup 3, Part 1, Problems

NEDERLANDS

3. Problemen voor de zelfstandigen

Tewerkstelling kan zowel via het statuut van loontrekkende als optioneel via het statuut van de zelfstandige. Artikel 1 bis van de RSZ-wet bepaalt echter dat een kunstenaar automatisch valt onder het algemeen regime van de sociale zekerheid van de werknemers. Die duidelijkheid is er en zou ook beter moeten erkend worden als uitgangspunt. De Commissie Kunstenaars bepaalt nu of kunstenaars eventueel zelfstandige kunnen worden. Dit is een optie maar geen verplichting!

- De toegang tot het zelfstandigenstatuut is voor veel kunstenaars te duur

Voor zelfstandige in hoofdberoep is een minimumbijdrage aan sociale rechten van 2.992 € op jaarbasis nodig (als het netto belastbaar inkomen lager is dan 14.042 €). Dit komt neer op ongeveer 250 euro per maand. Vele kunstenaars kunnen zich dit door een onregelmatig inkomen nu niet veroorloven. Ook zij krijgen hiervoor weinig sociale zekerheid in de plaats.

- Berekeningen gebeuren te traag

Vele kunstenaars en kunstwerkers hebben een schommelend inkomen. Dit kan grote gevolgen hebben voor de hoogte van de verschuldigde driemaandelijkse bijdragen. De berekeningen voor de bijdragen van zelfstandigen gebeuren echter te traag. Dit maakt het voor vele kunstenaars moeilijk.

- Gebrek aan sociale bescherming

Zelfstandigen in hoofdberoep of bijberoep kunnen niet terug vallen op werkloosheid. Voor zelfstandigen in bijberoep is geen minimumbijdrage verschuldigd, wel sociale bijdragen vanaf een netto belastbaar inkomen per jaar van 1553 € Men betaalt als zelfstandige wel sociale bijdragen, maar men bouwt nauwelijks sociale rechten op.

- Onstabiliteit van de kunstmarkt

Eventuele inkomsten uit een ‘kunstmarkt’ zijn voor veel kunstenaars onbestaande of erg wisselvallig. Dit komt duidelijk naar voor in het onderzoek ‘Cijferboek Kunsten 2018’ van Kunstenpunt m.b.t. de toegang van Vlaamse kunstenaars tot de kunstmarkt.[^13]

De kunstmarkt is een ‘winner takes all’ markt, want ze is georganiseerd rond exclusiviteit. De aandacht en middelen zijn gefocust op enkelingen. De massa structureel onderbetaalde en onder-gefinancierde kunstenaars genereren door hun geloof in het belang van kunst, veel symbolische waarde voor de markt, die daardoor de prijzen van een klein aantal zogenaamde ‘blue-chip’ kunstenaars de hoogte in kan drijven. Financiële inkomsten die de kunstenaar in een markt zou kunnen ontvangen, blijven een hoogst onzekere, speculatieve aangelegenheid.


FRANCAIS

3. Problèmes rencontrés par les travailleurs indépendants

L'emploi peut s'exercer via le statut de salarié et éventuellement via le statut de travailleur indépendant. Toutefois, l'article 1bis de la loi sur l'ONSS stipule qu'un artiste relève automatiquement du régime général de la sécurité sociale des travailleurs salariés. C'est un point clairement indiqué qui mérite plus de reconnaissance. C'est la Commission des Artistes qui détermine si les artistes peuvent devenir indépendants.

- L'accès au statut d'indépendant est trop coûteux pour de nombreux artistes

Pour les indépendants à titre principal, une cotisation minimale à la sécurité sociale de 2 992 € est requise annuellement (si le revenu net imposable est inférieur à 14 042 €). Cela représente environ 250 euros par mois. En raison de l'irrégularité de leurs revenus, peu d'artistes peuvent se le permettre à l’heure actuelle. Ils ne bénéficient d’ailleurs que de peu de sécurité sociale en retour.

- Les calculs sont trop lents

La plupart des artistes et travailleurs de l'art perçoivent des revenus variables. Cela peut avoir un impact majeur sur la hauteur des contributions trimestrielles. Cependant, le calcul des cotisations pour les travailleurs indépendants est trop lent. Cela complique la tâche pour de nombreux artistes.

- L'absence de protection sociale

Les indépendants à titre principal ou complémentaire ne peuvent pas se rabattre sur le chômage. Pour les indépendants exerçant une activité complémentaire, aucune cotisation minimale n'est due, mais elles deviennent applicables à partir d'un revenu net imposable de 1553 € par an.

- l'instabilité du marché de l'art*

Les revenus provenant du « marché de l'art » sont inexistants ou très aléatoires pour de nombreux artistes. C'est ce que démontre clairement l'étude "Cijferboek Kunsten 2018" de Kunstenpunt concernant l'accès des artistes flamands au marché de l'art. [^12]

Le marché de l'art fonctionne selon le principe du « winner takes all », dans la mesure où il est organisé autour de l'exclusivité. L'attention et les ressources sont concentrées sur quelques élus. Par le sens qu'ils attachent à l'art, la masse d'artistes structurellement sous-payée et sous-financée génère une grande valeur symbolique pour le marché, qui peut ainsi faire monter les prix d'un petit nombre d'artistes dits « de premier ordre ». Tout revenu financier que l'artiste pourrait recevoir sur le marché reste une matière hautement incertaine et spéculative.


ENGLISH

3. Problems for the self-employed

Employment can be either through the status of salaried employee or, optionally, through the status of self-employed person. However, Article 1a of the NSSO Act stipulates that an artist automatically falls under the general regime of social security for employees. This clarity is there and should also be better recognised as a starting point. The Artists' Commission now determines whether artists can become self-employed. This is an option but not an obligation!

- The access to the self-employed status is not affordable for many artists

For a self-employed person (as a main occupation), a minimum contribution to social security of €2,992 on an annual basis is required (if the net taxable income is less than €14,042). This amounts to approximately €250 per month. Many artists cannot afford this because of their irregular income. They also receive little social security in return.

- Calculations are too slow

Many artists and art workers have a fluctuating income. This can have a major impact on the amount of quarterly contributions owed. However, the calculations for the contributions of self-employed people are too slow. This makes it difficult for many artists.

-Lack of social protection

Self-employed persons in main or secondary occupation cannot fall back on unemployment. For self-employed persons in a secondary occupation, no minimum contribution is payable, but social security contributions are payable from a net taxable income of €153 per year.

- Instability of the art market

Any income from an 'art market' is non-existent or very volatile for many artists. This is clearly evident in the research 'Cijferboek Kunsten 2018' by Kunstenpunt regarding Flemish artists' access to the art market. [^13]

The art market is a 'winner takes all' market, for it is organised around exclusivity. Attention and resources are focused on the few. The mass of structurally underpaid and underfunded artists generate, through their belief in the importance of art, a great deal of symbolic value for the market, which can therefore drive up the prices of a small number of so-called 'blue-chip' artists. Any financial income that the artist might receive in a market remains a highly uncertain, speculative matter.

DISCUSSION:

Amlmanac: gathering information for this new version, almanac 2022. Different instalments.

We start with intro's. 
Wouter, cultural reporter, and 100% independpent
Sietske, avtress an independnt. Inposissble to be independent in BE
Barbara, Co dir. Kaai: In NL artist is always entrepreneur , in BE employee .
Carlo: lid artistiencoaltie en bond van auteurs. Dir. vlaams instituut voor de letteren.
Stijn. Cultuurloket, legal consultant and worked for organisation for independants.
Jens: former cultuurloket. Now own advisory organisation .
Anna: Few yrs in BE, from IT. Educator, KASK, curator in live arts. + MA Fine Arts. Interships etc.
Julia: From NL, in DE now. Topic dear cos recently graduated, reality of being an independent. Complixities of involving other. Entrepreneurship in arts. 
Kevin: Danceartist, in BE since 2016
Philippine : artist and educator, resident in BE, independent in NL
Gert: freelancer, allround, technical production
Roger: MA Autonomous design, perfo., music, 
Gijs de Heij, OSP
Frederic: cultural policies and social security for artists
Begum: Artis, employee in BE
Gala: dancer, engagement, activism in the sector
Jennifer: studio artist,

Presentation Carlo: differences in social benefits and the range of prices between self employed and employees.

zelfstandigen statuut. 3 basic statutes: 1. employee, receive monthly income / wage 2. employee for the government, also receives a monthly wage 3. independent, different companies / clients, up to you to decide price and conditions. Not under control of another. Self controlled.

There are 2 groups of indepents: Main occupation, side occupation.

  1. Fulltime employee: You have to have enough income to be wholey independent . You have to prove this on the financial and economical side. A commission from RSVZ judges whether you are truly an independent artist.

  2. As a secondary occupation: at least 50% employment e. In education, at least 60%. Also possiblein combitation with retirement, student or .Within this model the amount of amount you spent is not mesuered / judged / considere. Time you spend is not specified.

Main occupation : - registered in the, what is called administration for entrepreneurs. - Medical care: must be registered with a mutuality, wiht htem you pay the social contributions. - VAT number - You pay social costs/contributions based on your net income, which is calculated based on your net income of the year before. This is problematic.

Numbers: - Main occupation : €748,11 minimum contribution per quarter if your income is under 14.042€, up to 60k you pay 20,5%. Maximum contribution 4.250,33 per quarter. (17.000 yearly).

-Secondary occupation: No contribution if you earn under 1533,57. For an income up to 14.042,57, it's 5,17 per quarter, or 20,68% per year. Over 14.042,57 the numbers are the same as for the main occupation .

Numbers are based in your net income so after payments of costs (own prof. costs and social costs)

secondary occupation: up to a yearly net income 1553,57€ no social contributions Up to 14k per year, you pay 5.17% but do not build rights from 14k on you pay as in main occupation.

Social security: proffesional accident: on your own insurance child benefits: same as employees lower retirement no unemployment benefits, but there is a bakruptcy insurance no holiday payment no disability benefit

Labour justice: no minimum wage no limitation on your working time no security if you are fired (geenontslagbescherming) / the project is cancelled (as an entrepeneur you can no really be fired ?).

Less security all round

What are your rights?
kraamgeld through childcare

medical costs are renumerated. If you're not able to work you'll receive money from your social secutiry institution though lower.

you will receive a pension, but it is lower. Overbruggingsregeling

Bruto / netto costs (overview in an image, we can add the image.) Total cost for an Shows the consequences of being an employee vs independent and how an employee costs more for the emplayer than the salary

Income of the RSZ collecting all the social costs: 87,6 Billion.

Shows how is this money spent. 41,4% pesion 35,4% medical care 13,1% sickness and disability 8,1% unemployment 2,0% other

The money collected is not saved to construct a capital. This will cause problems in the future. When the amount of working people shrinks relative to the amount of people receiving a pension.

You can work independent or create a company of your own, as in, a seperate legal entity. Most people working in culture don't need such a construction .

Advantages of a separate legal entity: - you can claim more costs - pay yourself a wage - limited exposure in case of bankruptcy

Downside: - keeping accounts -VAT, which highers your price - no attractive tax rate on royalties - pay taxes as a company AND on your wage - harder to receive subsidies, except for when you are a vzw/asbl not-for-profit.

DISCUSSION

Jens: There is a lot of misinformation. The commision has been abolished? For example lower pesions were assimilated now. It is also possible to receive a subsidy within the frame of kunstendecreet. People should inform themselves.

Frederic: They have multiple activities. This plurality is often unrecognised. Incomes fluctuate . Complexity of administration in relation to institution. Proposal: new interface. Ideology that art should not have anything to do with market/money. In FR speaking BE, artists feel ideological barrier to being independents. You're not supposed to make money with art. Statute d'artist: most are not, in this, we have to take care of those too.

Jennifer: most artists/writers etc. are always working, but it takes time before you start making money with the work. Fluctuations and cycles of income. Most do other work so as to pay for their social security.

Sietske: For many financialy unattaiable to be an independent . 
proposal: Form of basic income.

Stijn: proposal: 1. start with lower social contributions .
2. And secondly, that if you're independent in a secondary occupation that you're not building up social rights, unless you pay the minimum of the main occupancy . It should be something that even if you're paying such contributions there is a social protection as well. 3. And then the third point is also that social contributions of independents is mostly 20,5% (+ small % social insurance fund) of their income but for employees it's 38% but still it feels like too heavy for independents to pay such contributions. So, there is also a need for a correct price you need to ask also if you're an independent so maybe through collective agreements amongst independents.

Fr: problem for a lot of creators is that there is no employer.

Jens: yes: I would like to add to that, that is also one of the problems that I see if you look at the different statutes right now, in the employee statute if you look at the income, we have set contributions, but also the state putting in a few million euros each year, but also a part of VAT. A percentage of that is going to the statute, the system. But in the statute of independents, it is only the 20.5% on the net income, that is financing that system. So I think also we should look for different forms of income, so that we can ask for lower social security contributions for example for artists, young beginning artists...

Begum: In Germany as a freelancer the only benefit you have as an artist is indeed to be part of a social "Kassa", so that you pay less for health insurance. And there are two degrees so you pay much less taxes, until a start up on 7% until a certain income. But it still looks like it's too expensive for me to become an independent

SUMMARY:

We talked about differences in social benefits and the range of costs / prices between self employed and employees.

We made a list of the matters, in which we think there is an injustice, matters that should have solution:

PROBLEMS
  1. It's difficult to get started as a self employed or to be officially self employed as self employed or independent as the main occupation or as secondary occupation . You're still paying social benefits, but you don't receive any of these benefits.

  2. Then there is the problem of the pluri-activity. The fact that self employed / independents combine different statuses that are not always accepted, and there is the fluctuation in income from one month to another. This makes it difficult, sometimes you have to pay a lot even though you're in a bad year.

  3. And then, we touched upon the fact that especially writers and visual artists can work for a very long time, on a certain project. And then eventually get their income. But you aren't always compensated for your work, for the work that you've created.

Then very spontaneously there were some ideas for sollutions that we will touch upon in the second round.

SOLLUTIONS? 1. We'll be thinking about collective agreements between self employed / independents.

  1. We'll talk about the idea of a basic income for the self employed

  2. or when you're beneath a certain threshold that you shouldn't pay any taxes. Apparently this exists already in the Netherlands. Maybe we can copy the system, so to speak.