‘Being your own boss’. More and more Dutch people are undertaking these endeavors. To collect information regarding the sustainable employability and working conditions of self-employed persons, TNO and CBS developed the ZEA. After the pilot in 2012 and the ZEA of 2015, we have recently published the latest ZEA.



The amount of self-employed without employees is increasing in the Netherlands. At the moment, there are around 1 million self-employed without employees in the Netherlands. This group is interesting, not only because of their large numbers, but also because they contribute to the flexibility of the labour market because they seem to be less affected by burnout symptoms and continue working even after their retirement age. Furthermore, self-employed without employees are less likely to build a pension at all and most of them are not insured for disabilities.


The ZEA questionnaire encompasses the following themes:

  • Working conditions
  • Sustainable employability
  • Performance
  • Health
  • Occupational safety
  • Motivation
  • Working hours
  • Clients
  • Pension and insurances
  • Future perspectives
Click here to download the latest ZEA REPORT (Dutch)



In 2017 the ZEA (Netherlands Survey of the Self-Employed) was administrated for the third time. Over 24.000 freelancers and independent contractors were approached of which over 6.000 took the time to fill in the survey.


The results of the ZEA 2017 can be found in a table in this report (Dutch). The report also shows the research design. A number of subjects are highlighted in a fact sheet (Dutch).

Over the coming years, we will continue to perform statistical analyses to provide more insights into specific groups and subjects.


More information about ZEA? Contact us or visit the bookcase for publications.

Publications in English



Look into our virtual bookcase to find a number of publications and reports that are published in English



Drs. S.N.J (Seth) van den Bossche
Programma-manager Monitoring van Arbeid


T: 088 866 5330

M: Contact


Schipholweg 77-89
2316 ZL Leiden


T: 088 866 5330

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