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Wages in the event of an agreement for services

Geertje Strik
Geertje Strik
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It can be agreed that the client owes wages to the contractor. In order to determine whether the client owes any wages, the content of the agreement between the contractor and the client has to be examined. If no wages are owed, the assignment will be a friendly turn or voluntary work rather than paid work.

In the course of his profession or business

As a rule, the client will owe wages to the contractor if the contractor performs the assignment in the course of his profession or business. If the parties have (erroneously) omitted to determine the amount of the wage, this wage will be calculated in the usual manner. In that case, the manner of calculating the wage in a specific professional group is looked at. This may be per hour, for example. If this is unknown, a reasonable wage will be owed. The amount of the reasonable wage depends on the nature and the scope of the assignment.

Result-dependent wage

In some cases, it may be agreed that the wage will only be owed after the desired result has been achieved. The contractor therefore runs the risk of not receiving any wage at all. This is called ‘no cure, no pay’. Another example of result-dependent wage is the estate agent who receives a percentage of the purchase price. As a rule, result-dependent wages have to be expressly agreed.

Moment of payment

In the case of assignments for achieving a specific purpose, such as for example making photos at the wedding, the usual practice is that the wage is owed after the wedding. In the case of ongoing assignments, such as for example the cafe’s monthly purchase of beer at Heineken, it is reasonable to agree a periodic payment. In the latter case, it is unknown when the assignment ends. An advance payment is not regarded as wage, but rather as a provision of security.

Wage in the event of shortcomings

From the general law of obligations it follows that wages are also owed for an assignment that has not been performed properly. Obviously, it is not desirable to have the full entitlement to wages lapse for every shortcoming in the assignment. In this case, the client has the option to dissolve the agreement in part, so part of the wages will not have to be paid.


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