5.1.4 Social security frameworks
General laws (including social security legislation) related to independent entrepreneurs also apply to artists. In the Dutch Unemployment Insurance Act [Werkeloosheidswet], an exception is made for freelance artists. Acceptance criteria (based on the period of unemployment) are less severe for freelance artists in comparison with other professions.
Specific regulations are indicated in the Work and Income Provisions for Artists Act [WWIK, Wet Werk en inkomen kunstenaars, 2005]. This Act provides artists temporarily - for a maximum of 48 months, spread over a maximum period of 10 years - with a basic income (70% of the guaranteed minimum income). However, artists may earn up to 125% of the guaranteed minimum income by doing extra work, have no job seeking obligations and have free access to the training and individual counselling services of Artists&Cultural Entrepreneurship [Kunstenaars&CO, see also chapter 8.1). The WWIK is intended for new artists, building up a profitable practice, and for established artists with a temporary decrease in income. Artists who want to make use of the WWIK, have to prove they received a higher arts education or have run a professional practice. Artists&Cultural Entrepreneurship has the legal obligation to execute these professional searches.
In addition to legislation, the government has many funds that provide support to the arts. For example, the Dutch Foundation for Literature [Fonds voor de Letteren] encourages the production of Dutch literature by offering scholarships to literary writers and translators, extra payments above their normal salary, start-up grants and travelling scholarships. The Netherlands Fund for the Performing Arts+ [Nederlands Fonds voor Podiumkunsten+, 2007] (see chapter 8.1.2) provides the same kind of support.
See also comparative information provided in the Compendium "Themes!" section under "Status of Artists".