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“Informing artists is the duty of the employer”

"You don't build up social security rights with a KVR."

As the business leader of MATRIX and Nadar, two young organisations dedicated to contemporary classical music, Rebecca Diependaele makes a priority of transparent employment practices. “We never work with standard expense schemes. And I always explain why.”

“Since Nadar received operating subsidies in 2017, it has been possible to develop a structural operation. In my view, this also requires a contemporary vision of employment. I consider it my role to be as aware as possible of the regulations and to share that information with those who work for MATRIX and Nadar: the permanent employees, but also the freelancers. Transparency and good communication are central”.

Nadar – Michael Maierhof – EXIT F © Kobe Wens

On the payroll is more advantageous

“I always properly explain why we do things the way we do. For example, we do not work with the standard expense deduction scheme for artists and other professionals (KVRs): after all, that instrument is not intended for a professional context. I always explain to artists who ask why a day contract is much more interesting. The musician builds up social security rights with this instrument, something a KVR does not do. And I provide insight into calculating the remuneration. I start from the gross cost, I indicate which employer’s contributions there are, what will be deducted for social security, and how much will ultimately remain for the musician. Or I show them by means of calculations that it is much cheaper for them to join our payroll than to work via a social bureau for artists. As far as I’m concerned, sharing this kind of information is our responsibility as an employer, certainly in a subsidised organisation. Artists are often in a precarious situation and must switch between different assignments very quickly. This means it’s not easy to think long term. We do have that luxury, and with it the obligation to fully and transparently inform our artists”.

Small organisations

“It took a while to find my way through the existing systems as a new employer. In the meantime, I’ve a better view of, for example, the different types of expense allowances and their social security and tax aspects. I regularly follow courses at oKo and Sociare, and work with a payroll services firm that provides useful templates for working with day contracts. I also occasionally consult colleagues. If you are well informed, a business leader from a small organisation will also be able to see the forest through the trees”.