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Hague Court of Appeal: CBA applicable to freelance musicians

The Hague Court of Appeal this week struck down a ruling that would have put collective bargaining agreements covering freelance orchestral musicians across Europe under threat.

The Hague Court of Appeal this week struck down a ruling that would have put collective bargaining agreements covering freelance orchestral musicians across Europe under threat.

Employers in Holland had challenged collective bargaining agreements covering freelance orchestral players. The court in Holland agreed with the employers on the grounds that such agreements violate competition rules.

However, musician and unions challenged this at the Hague Court of Appeal, which found in the musicians’ favour, stating that freelance players are effectively ‘bogus’ self-employed.

In its analysis, the Court of Appeal noted that freelance musicians:

  • Were performing the same tasks as their permanently employed colleagues
  • Were playing their score alongside such colleagues
  • Had to comply with a strict rehearsal and concert planning
  • Had to follow the orchestra conductor’s instructions, and
  • Could not be replaced by freely designating other musicians to this end.

As such, they can be covered by collective bargaining agreements.

Visit the Federation of International Musicians for more on this ruling.

For more on what the MU does for freelance orchestral players visit our Orchestral pages.


Published: 17/09/2015

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