This summer, a judge ruled that bursaries are indeed performing regular labor, and should be regarded as employees.
The labor union ABVAKABO FNV sued the Rijksuniversiteit Groningen (RUG) in name of 13 bursary PhD students of the RUG, demanding that they be regarded as regular employees. In line with previous case law, the verdict favors the point of view of ABVAKABO FNV in all three main issues of the case: what bursaries do is labour, what they earn is wage, and the relation of a bursary with his supervisor is a hierarchical one. As a result, bursaries should be recognized as employees. What impact this decision will have is too early to say. We will keep you informed about new developments.
You can read an advice of ABVAKABO FNV to all bursary PhD students here (Dutch).