Hire in Netherlands

Here’s where you get started with human resources best practices and hiring in Netherlands.

beautiful scenery in the country of netherlands

Currency of Netherlands

Euro (EUR)

The Capital of Netherlands


Time Zone in Netherlands


Important Facts About the Country of Netherlands

Introduction to Netherlands

The Netherlands, also known as Holland, is a Northwestern European country of approximately 17 million inhabitants. It is known for its traditions of liberal social policies and high quality of life. The country’s most populous city and nominal capital is Amsterdam. English-speaking people use the word ‘Dutch’ to describe people from the Netherlands.

What to Know about Netherlands's Geography

The four parts of the Kingdom of the Netherlands—the Netherlands, Aruba, Curaçao and Sint Maarten—are constituent countries and participate on a basis of equality as partners within the Kingdom. However, in practice, the Netherlands administers most of the Kingdom’s affairs. The vast majority in land area of the constituent country of the Netherlands is in Europe, while its three special municipalities (Bonaire, Saba and Sint Eustatius) are located in the Caribbean along with the other three constituent countries.

Climate in Netherlands

The European Netherlands have a mild maritime climate, with moderately warm summers and cool winters marked by typically high humidity.

The Culture of Netherlands

The Dutch take great pride in their deep cultural heritage, rich history in art and participation in international affairs. Dutch society is egalitarian and modern. The Dutch have an aversion to the non-essential so ostentatious behavior is to be avoided.

Religions Observed in Netherlands

In the Netherlands, 28% of the population identify as Roman Catholic, 19% identify as Protestant and 11% identify with some other religion. Almost half of the population (42%) of the Netherlands does not identify with any religion.

Languages Spoken in Netherlands

The sole official language of the Netherlands is Dutch. Apart from Dutch, the inhabitants of the northern province of Friesland also speak their own language ‘Frisian,’ which is closer to English than to Dutch.

Netherlands Human Resources at a Glance

Employment Law Protections in Netherlands

Dutch employment law is elaborate and relatively complex. It is divided into individual and collective law and is closely related to social security law.

Key Points:

  • Employment law is not consolidated into a single code.
  • Employees have a strong legal position.
  • There is a preventive dismissal assessment.
  • Employees are entitled to a relatively long period of salary payment during illness.
  • The Balanced Labor Market Act is significant.

Employment Contracts in Netherlands

An employment contract under Dutch law can be concluded orally or in writing. However, the employer will nonetheless need to inform the employee in writing with respect to certain conditions relating to the employment relationship, including:

  • the name and residence of the parties
  • the place where the work is to be carried out
  • the position and a job description
  • the hiring date
  • the time period (if the employment contract is for a fixed period of time)
  • the annual leave rights or the method of calculating annual leave allowance
  • the duration of the notice periods to be observed by the parties or the method of calculating these periods
  • the salary and the payment intervals
  • the customary number of working hours per day or per week
  • the employee’s pension rights (if applicable)
  • the collective labor agreement (if applicable)

Employers must pay a higher Unemployment Act (WW) premium of 7.94% for all employees without a written employment contract for an indefinite period.

Netherlands's Contract Terms

There are a variety of employment agreements for employees in the Netherlands, with temporary and permanent contracts being the most common. From January 1, 2020, a temporary contract automatically changes to a permanent contract if an employee has received more than three successive temporary contracts or if an employee has had several temporary contracts with his or her employer for more than three years – unless there are other rules outlined in the collective labor agreement.

Fixed Term Contacts for Netherlands Employees

An employment contract can be agreed upon for a fixed period of time (fixed-term contract) or for an unspecified period of time (open-ended/permanent contract). A fixed-term employment contract will automatically convert into an open-ended employment contract if either of the following occurs:

  • A chain of temporary employment contracts covers 36 months or more
  • A chain of three fixed-term employment contracts is continued

A chain is a series of fixed-term employment contracts, which succeed each other with no more than six months in between. This rule is also applicable to employment contracts between an employee and various employers that must reasonably be deemed to be each other’s successors regarding the work performed. It is possible to shorten the interval period of six months to three months in a Collective Labor Agreement, if the nature of the activity so requires. This applies, for example, to seasonal labor.

One month prior to the termination of a fixed-term employment contract of six months or longer, the employer must give notice to the employee whether the employment contract will be extended or not. The employer is also required to inform an employee who has a fixed-term contract about openings with an open-ended employment contract.

Netherlands's Guidelines Regarding Probation Period/Trial Period

A probationary period must be concluded in writing. No probationary period can be applied in an employment contract with a term of six months or less.

The maximum probationary period in open-ended contracts is two months. The maximum probationary period in fixed-term contracts is one month if the contract’s duration is between six months and two years, and two months for longer contracts. Probationary periods are not permitted for fixed-term contracts lasting up to six months.

The established probationary period for both the employer and the employee should be the same. A probationary period is not valid if the employee involved is already employed at the employer, but at a different position and will be carrying out more or less the same work that they have done elsewhere within the company.

During the probationary period, either party may terminate the employment contract with immediate effect, without notice or stating the reasons.

Regulations and Rules Regarding Working Hours in Netherlands

The average working week in the Netherlands has 5 days with between 36 and 40 working hours.
An employee may work a maximum of 12 hours per shift. The maximum working hours per week is set at 60. Note that an employee may not work the maximum number of hours every week.
Looked at over a longer period, the working hours are as follows:

  • Per week during a 4-week period: on average 55 hours per week during a period of 4 weeks; deviating agreements on this can be made in a collective arrangement (CAO for example). But an employee may never work more than 60 hours per week;
  • Per week during a 16-week period: on average 48 hours per week during a 16-week period. The employee and employer make agreements on what exact hours the employee works per day and per week.

Rest after working hours:

  • After a working day, an employee must have 11 consecutive hours of non-work time. This rest period may be shortened to 8 hours once in a 7-day period if the nature of the work or the business circumstances require this;
  • In the event of a 5-day work week, an employee must have 36 consecutive hours of non-work time after the end of the work week;
  • A longer work week is also possible, provided the employee has at least 72 consecutive hours of non-work time in a period of 14 days. This period may be split into two periods of at least 32 hours each.


  • If an employee works for more than 5.5 hours, he is entitled to at least 30 minutes of break time. This may be split into two 15-minute breaks;
  • If an employee works for more than 10 hours, he must have at least 45 minutes of break time. This may be split into several breaks, each of which must be at least 15 minutes;
  • A collective arrangement (CAO for example) may include agreements on fewer breaks. But if the employee works for more than 5.5 hours, he must at least have 15 minutes of break time.

Netherlands Laws Regarding Overtime

There is no specific Dutch legislation on compensation for working overtime. Whether overtime will have to be compensated should follow from what was agreed to in the employment contract or established in a collective labor agreement (if applicable). If no stipulations are made, the courts, in a labor dispute, are likely to decide that the employer should compensate an employee for working overtime as this is what may be expected from a “good employer” in such circumstances.

Health and Safety in the Workplace

The employer is required to use the services of a working-conditions service, an institution that assists the employer with risk assessments, advises the employer on reintegration of sick employees, assists sick employees and more. Employers are advised to have a proper complaint procedure in place. In addition, employers must inform their employees about their right to address health and safety-related matters with the company’s occupational health and safety service agency.

Rules Regarding Bonus and 13th Month Pay in Netherlands

There are no mandatory requirements relating to bonus or commission payments. Hence, an employer is not required to pay bonuses. This differs if the employer and the employee have agreed to a certain bonus scheme or plan. Whether bonuses are regular will depend on the industry, level and type of position the employee holds.

If an employer chooses to grant bonus payments, all employees must be treated equally for the employer to avoid any discrimination claims. The conditions and criteria under which the employee is entitled to a bonus payment must be objective. A bonus entitlement based on the performance of the employee or the company is permissible.

In the Netherlands, the variable part of remuneration in the financial sector is not allowed to exceed 20% of the fixed remuneration. This is stricter than the 100% cap applied in many other parts of the EU.

There is a mandatory holiday allowance that is paid annually in May.


An open-ended employment contract can be terminated in the following ways:

  • the employer submits a termination request to the Dutch Labour Authorities (UWV) and gives notice of termination after receiving permission from the UWV;
  • The employee consents after the employer has given notice, without the above-mentioned permission.
  • Court proceedings enforce termination.
  • Mutual consent to terminate the contract is reached. No notice period needs to be observed in this case, although it is usual to do so. Both parties can agree on a reasonable severance package.
  • Dismissal can happen due to an urgent reason, such as if the employee has engaged in such misconduct that the employer cannot reasonably be expected to continue the employment relationship any longer. The urgent reason must be communicated to the other party immediately and the employment contract must be terminated without notice.
  • An employee is always permitted to terminate the employment contract with due observance of the applicable notice period.

Employers cannot decide which route to use to make staff redundant. Applications for redundancies on economic grounds (or dismissal on account of long-term incapacity for work) must be made to the Employee Insurance Agency (UWV). The UWV will grant permission only if there is a reasonable ground for dismissal and redeployment within a reasonable period of time is (even after training) not reasonably possible. Permission will not be granted in cases where termination is impossible because of a statutory prohibition against terminating an employment contract by giving notice, for instance, during illness shorter than 104 weeks, pregnancy or if the employee is a member of the works council.

All other dismissals must be referred to the district court. By decision of the court, an employment contract can be terminated after filing a petition for dissolution. This applies to the following:

  • frequent and disruptive absence due to illness
  • unsuitability for the position/underperformance (other than because of illness)
  • culpable acts or omissions of the employee
  • dismissal based on cumulative ground

The cumulation ground provision allows an employer to combine different grounds for dismissal, which individually may be insufficient to justify a dismissal. The cumulation ground cannot be applied to dismissals on the grounds of (i) business economics or (ii) due to long-term incapacity for work.

After filing the petition with the competent court, the employee is offered the possibility to file a statement of defense and the court will set a date for a hearing, during which the parties can explain their opinions. The court can then grant the request for termination and dissolve the employment contract – or it could deny the request.

Collective Dismissals:

Only in case of a collective dismissal, or if provided by a Collective Labor Agreement, is the employer obliged to notify and consult the relevant trade unions on its intention to implement the dismissal to the Employee Insurance Agency. A Collective Dismissal applies if an employer intends to dismiss 20 employees or more within a period of three months (within one of the working areas of the UWV).

According to the Dutch Collective Redundancy (Notification) Act (‘Wet Melding Collectief Ontslag’), the employer must notify the UWV of its intention to do so. It is also necessary to take into account all employment contracts that will be terminated by mutual agreement. After the report has been filed, there is a one-month waiting period. No waiting period applies if the report is accompanied by a statement of the trade unions confirming they were consulted and that they agree with the termination of the contracts.

Frequently, a social plan (e.g. termination packages) is negotiated. There is no legal requirement for the employer to negotiate the content of a social plan with the trade unions. Nevertheless, a social plan often forms an important basis of the negotiations with the trade unions, as they will base their support on the content of that plan.

Netherlands's Requirements Regarding Notice Periods

Dutch law provides for the following statutory notice periods for an employer:

  • fewer than five years of service: one month
  • more than five years, but fewer than 10 years of service: two months
  • 10 or more years of service, but fewer than 15 years of service: three months
  • 15 or more years of service: four months

The period of notice to be observed by the employee is normally one month. The employer and the employee can agree on a shorter or longer period in writing. This is subject to a maximum of six months. In that case, the notice period the employer observes must be twice the notice period the employee is required to observe.

Employees and employers are each protected by the law when it comes to dismissal. This stipulates, among other provisions, that notice may only be given with effect from the end of a month. A different date can be prescribed by an applicable collective labor agreement or employment contract. Exceptions are possible during the trial period or if there is a substantial reason for doing so (e.g. theft). In that case, contracts can be terminated with immediate effect and without notice.

Redundancy/Severance Pay in Netherlands

Dismissed employees are entitled to a transition payment (statutory severance – ‘transitievergoeding’) from the first day of their employment contract. An employee will receive a third of the monthly salary per calendar year. The transition payment is capped at EUR 83,000 gross. If the employee is entitled to a higher annual salary, then it is capped at one annual salary.

The transition payment is not due if the employee terminates the employment contract, unless this termination is a result of seriously culpable actions on behalf of the employer. Employers can apply for compensation for the transition payment if they dismiss an employee on the grounds of long-term occupational disability (following two years of sickness).

If an employment is terminated on the basis of a cumulated dismissal, the court can grant an extra severance equal to a maximum of half of the transition payment. This is in addition to the statutory transition payment that the employee is ordinarily entitled to receive.

Post-Termination Restraints / Restrictive Covenants

Non-compete clauses:

In principle, employing a non-competition clause in a fixed-term employment contract is prohibited, unless the employer has a substantial business interest in including such a clause. This must be substantiated in the employment contract.

Non-competition clauses – those effective for a certain scope of activities, a certain geographical area and for a certain number of years – must be agreed upon in writing. The restriction must be limited to terms that are reasonably necessary to protect the employer’s business interests. Typically, a duration of one year is considered reasonable. Limitations as to territory and the nature of activities will depend on the branch in which the employer operates and the position of the employee.

The employer can enforce the non-competition clause in court and claim damages from the employee. In practice, a penalty clause is typically agreed upon between the parties on the basis of which the employee must pay an agreed amount to the employer (if the employee violates the non-competition clause). If the non-compete clause prevents the employee from being employed elsewhere, the court may order that the employer has to compensate the employee during the period in which the employer holds the employee accountable to the non-compete clause.

Non-solicitation clauses:

Employment contracts can also contain a non-solicitation clause, which stipulates the employee is not allowed to solicit their employer’s customers or employees during or following their employment. The employer can enforce the non-solicitation clause in court and make a claim from the employee to compensate for damages. In practice, a penalty clause is usually agreed upon between the parties on the basis of which the employee must remit an agreed amount (if the employee violates the non-solicitation clause).

Netherlands Timesheets

In 2019, the European Court of Justice stated companies must implement a system to record the working time of their employees. Thus, employers are required to set up an objective, reliable and accessible system that allows for the recording of the daily workday performed by each employee.

Trade Unions / Collective Agreements in Netherlands

The Social and Economic Council (SER) oversees proposed changes in employment laws and decisions affecting employment. The SER serves as an advisory board and a resource for the Netherlands’ labor agreements, with a council comprising equal proportions of representatives for employees, employers and independent advisors.

Union membership for workers is not mandatory in the Netherlands. Only 16% of the Dutch are unionized, which is a relatively low rate compared to other EU countries. In recent years, membership has declined slightly but not significantly. In the Netherlands, labor unions do not maintain official affiliations with political parties but do engage in politics by lobbying and by participating in the SER.

As a result of transparent and institutionalized relations between management and employees, the Dutch market experiences fewer labor disputes and strikes than EU counterparts.

Tax and Social Security Information for Employers in Netherlands

Personal Income Tax in Netherlands

In the Netherlands, global income is divided into three different categories of taxable income. Each income type is taxed separately under its own schedule, referred to as a ‘box’. Each box has its own tax rate or rates. An individual’s taxable income is calculated on the aggregate income across these three boxes:

Row 1 refers to taxable income from work and homeownership, and includes the following:

  • Employment income
  • Homeownership of a principal residence (deemed income)
  • Periodic receipts and payments
  • Benefits relating to income provisions

Row 2 refers to taxable income from a substantial interest.

Row 3 applies to taxable income from savings and investment.



Taxable Income Over (EUR) Taxable Income Not Over (EUR) Tax on Column 1 (EUR) Tax Rate on Excess (%) Social Security Tax Rate (%)
0 37,149 0 9.28 27.65
37,149 73,031 3,447 36.93 0.00
73,031 NA 13,251 36.93 0.00

Social Security in Netherlands

Social security in the Netherlands can be subdivided into social insurance benefits and social welfare benefits, depending on the source of the funding. Social insurance is funded from the contributions paid by employees. This system is mandatory. All employees are automatically insured and contribute. Social welfare benefits are financed by central governmental funds.

Dutch law mandates that employers cover certain withholdings from the employee’s salary for income tax purposes, as well as the employee’s national insurance contributions. An employer is additionally required to cover certain social security premiums for its employees.


Social security consists of three components:

  • ER Social Security
  • ER Health Insurance
  • ER Pension



Social Security Charges % Monthly Cap
Div. WGA ((partial) resumption of work) 2.08 5,579.67
Unemployment benefit premium 7.70 5,579.67
Sick leave 5.94 5,579.67
Aof low disability insurance 5.49 5,579.67
WKO day-care contribution 0.50 5,579.67
TOTAL 21.71
% Monthly Cap
Health Insurance 6.75 5,579.67


Pension %
Premie Scholing Wg 1.02
Sociaal Fonds Wg 0.15
Basic Pension* 8.00
Plus Pension** 8.00

*The Basic Plan is intended for temporary employees of 18 years and older, who will be registered in the basic plan from their first employment date. The employee will be registered into the Basic Plan for up to 52 weeks, after which the Plus Plan will be applied. As of 1st July 2023, the weeks worked from 18 years old to 20 years old (included) won’t be considered for the Plus Plan. Therefore, from the age of 21 years old, and after a maximum of 52 weeks, the employee will participate in the Plus Plan.

**Under this plan both the Employer and Employee have to contribute to the Pension plan with Employee Contributions being 4% and Employer Contributions being 8%.

The levy of national insurance contributions in the Netherlands is capped to a maximum amount of premiums per year and per taxpayer. The rates and maximum amounts are as follows:

Year Rate AOW Rate ANW Rate WLZ Maximum Base Maximum Premium
2023 17.90% 0.10% 9.65% €35,472 €9,597

*The above rates serve as a broad guideline. Actual rates charged will differ. 



Important Information for Netherlands Employees

Salary Payment

In principle, employer and employee are free to agree to the wages to which an employee is entitled, taking into consideration minimum wages and minimum holiday allowances (which are normally adjusted each year). A collective labor agreement, if applicable, can also contain salary scales that are binding on individual employees. Salary is generally calculated monthly in arrears and remitted on or around the last working day of the month. The employees’ net pay is almost always transferred directly to their bank account.


The employee will receive a payslip from the employer. Payslips should, at least, contain the following information:

  • the gross pay
  • the composition of this amount (basic wage, performance bonus, etc.)
  • deductions by the employer for taxes and contributions
  • the minimum holiday allowance that applies to the employee
  • the name of the employer and the employee
  • the period to which the payment relates (e.g. month, year)
  • the number of hours the employee has to work by agreement

Annual Leave

  • Employees are entitled to a statutory minimum number of annual leave days equivalent to four times the weekly working hours. For example, an employee with a full-time workweek of 40 hours is statutorily entitled to a minimum of 20 days’ leave per year. Most collective labor agreements provide for an amount of holiday higher than the statutory minimum. The number generally varies from 20 to 30 days for full-time employees.

    Annual leave days will expire if they are not taken within six months after the year in which they were accrued, unless the employee was not reasonably able to take them. The scheme applies only in respect to the statutory minimum of annual leave days. In addition, ill employees will be entitled to accrue the same full number of leave days as employees who are not ill.

    In addition to annual leave days, employees are entitled to a holiday allowance. In general, this equals 8.33% of the annual salary, insofar as the annual salary does not exceed three times the annual equivalent of the minimum wage.

Sick Leave

Employers are obliged to continue to pay the salaries of sick employees for the first two years of illness. The employer is obliged to pay 70% of the employee’s salary, but during the first year of sickness payment cannot be less than the minimum wage. For the second year, the minimum wage limit does not apply. Most employees in the Netherlands are bound to a diverging clause laid down in either an individual employment contract or a Collective Labour Agreement with clauses that are often more favourable to the employee.

Per the Collective Labour Agreement applicable to GoGlobal employees in the Netherlands, in the event of inability to work, the employee will be entitled to (for as long as the TEAC continues):

  • 90% of the salary based on the time period during the first 52 weeks of the inability to work and at least the statutory minimum wage applicable to him/her;
  • 80% of the salary is based on the time period from the 53rd up to and including the 104th week.

Compassionate & Bereavement Leave

Emergency leave is intended for unforeseen personal circumstances for which an employee must take time off immediately (e.g. when making arrangements to care for a sick family member or a death in the family). The employer must always grant a reasonable request for emergency leave. During this period of leave, the employer is required to continue paying the employee’s salary. Emergency leave and short absence leave are considered legal leave schemes in the Netherlands.. If different arrangements have been concluded in the collective labor agreement or regulations of the works council or employee representation, those arrangements apply.

Short-term care leave

Short-term care leave can be taken to provide essential care to parents, ill children who still live at home or partners. However, this leave is only granted if the employee is the only person who can take care of the ill person at that moment in time. During the period of leave, the employer continues to pay 70% of the employee’s salary. If this is less than the minimum wage, the employer pays the minimum wage.

Long-term care leave

If a child, partner or parent of an employee is seriously (e.g. life-threateningly) ill and requires care, the employee can request long-term care leave. During this period of leave, the employer is not required to continue paying the employee’s salary.

Special or extraordinary leave

Special leave and extraordinary leave are not based on any law but are rather provided for in the collective labor agreement (CAO), company scheme or employee contract. There are some differences between the different collective labor agreements but often special leave is granted as follows:

  • Giving official notice of an intended marriage: one day
  • Marriage: two to four days
  • Marriage of a family member: one day
  • Funeral of a spouse, partner, parent or child: four days
  • Funeral of a grandparent, brother (in-law) or sister (in-law): two days

Holiday entitlement during leave

Holiday entitlement in the Netherlands continues to accumulate while an employee takes leave. The employer may not deduct days taken off for leave from an employee’s holiday entitlement, unless the employee has extra holiday entitlement (more than 4x the number of days worked in a week) and this has been agreed upon in their collective labor agreement.

Maternity & Parental Leave

Maternal Leave

Work for pregnant women and women who have recently given birth must take account of their specific circumstances. A pregnant woman is entitled to extra breaks and, in principle, is not required to work nights or overtime. A pregnant woman is also entitled to work in a steady and regular pattern of working hours and breaks. The employee may not undertake any work from four weeks prior to the probable date of the birth until six weeks after the birth.

Pregnant employees are entitled to four to six weeks’ pregnancy leave (before the due date) and at least 10 weeks maternity leave (following childbirth). If the employee takes less than six weeks pregnancy leave before the birth, she is entitled to add the remaining amount (up to two weeks) to her maternity leave after the birth.

If the baby is born later than the due date, the employee’s maternity leave begins after the actual birth and the total may therefore be longer than 16 weeks. If the employee is expecting multiple births, she is entitled to at least 20 weeks leave. If the baby goes into hospital directly following birth or during the maternity leave, the employee’s entitlement to 10 weeks maternity leave begins once the baby has left the hospital. If the mother passes away during childbirth, her partner is entitled to maternity leave.

During maternity leave, the Employee Insurance Agency will pay 100% of the daily wage (up to the maximum daily wage). The maximum daily wage in the Netherlands is currently EUR 219.28.

For the first nine months following the birth, the woman may interrupt her work to breastfeed or express milk as often and as long as is necessary Iup to a maximum of one quarter of her working hours). The employer must pay her for this time. The employer must also provide a suitable room for this.

Partner/paternity leave

If the partner of an employee gives birth, the employee is entitled to one week of partner/paternity leave after the birth of their child. During this period of leave, the employer must continue to pay 100% of the employee’s salary. This will be based on full-time employment. Partners can choose to take this leave immediately after the birth of their child or to spread the leave over the first four weeks following the birth.

Extended partner leave

Partners are entitled to five weeks’ unpaid leave in the first six months after the birth. Employees who take unpaid leave can claim benefits from the Employment Insurance Agency (UWV) for up to 70% of their salary. The additional birth leave must be taken within six months of the child’s birth.

Parental leave

Employees with children aged up to 8 years old can take unpaid parental leave in the Netherlands. They are eligible as soon as their employment commences. The employee can take at most 26x the number of their weekly contractual hours as parental leave. The right of parental leave ends when the child becomes 8 years old. During parental leave, the employer is not legally required to pay the salary unless this is agreed in the collective labor agreement (CAO) or employment contract. No holiday entitlements will be accrued during the hours of parental leave.

Adoption leave

Employees who have adopted a child or have taken in a foster child are entitled to six weeks adoption or foster leave. The leave applies to both parents. They are entitled to an adoption or foster care allowance. The employee must apply for the adoption or foster leave at least three weeks in advance with their employer. They may take this leave spread out over a period of time. The employer may not refuse this, unless their business will face serious problems as a result.

Public Holidays

In the Netherlands, employees are entitled to a number of paid public holidays. There are a total of 10 (11 every five years) public holidays in the Netherlands. Whether employees are free from work on public holidays depends on the agreements made between employers and employees in the CAO (Collaborative Labor Agreement) or those in the individual employment contract. There is no substitution if a holiday falls on a weekend.

Benefits to the Employee in Netherlands

Netherlands Statutory Benefits

The two types of insurance schemes in the Netherlands are social insurance against loss of income due, for instance, to unemployment, old age, illness or incapacity for work. The contribution percentages are set twice every year. The schemes are:

  • National insurance
  • Employee insurance

National Insurance Schemes

National insurance is mandatory for everyone who works or lives permanently in the Netherlands. The schemes are the following:

  • General Child Benefit Act (‘Algemene Kinderbijslagwet’ – AKW)
  • National Survivor Benefits Act (‘Algemene nabestaandenwet’ – ANW)
  • General Old Age Pensions Act (‘Algemene Ouderdomswet’ – AOW)
  • Long-term Care Act (‘Wet langdurige zorg’ – WLZ)

With the exception of the General Child Benefit Act, the Dutch Tax and Customs Administration collects the contributions for these national insurances. Employers withhold these contributions from their employees’ wages as the payroll tax. They subsequently pay this to the Dutch Tax and Customs Administration. The Dutch Social Insurance Bank (‘Sociale Verzekeringsbank’ – SVB) pays the actual benefits to the employee.

Employee Insurance Schemes

In the Netherlands, these employee insurance schemes are mandatory for every employee:

  • Unemployment Insurance Act (‘Werkloosheidswet’ – WW)
  • Work and Income (Capacity for Work) Act (‘Wet werk en inkomen naar arbeidsvermogen’ – WIA)
  • Sickness Benefits Act (‘Ziektewet’ – ZW)
  • Invalidity Insurance Act (‘Wet op de arbeidsongeschiktheidsverzekering’ – WAO): only for employees that already received WAO before January 1, 2006

Employers pay the contributions on behalf of their employees to the Dutch Tax and Customs Administration (‘Belastingdienst’). These contributions are part of the payroll tax. Employers pay a low unemployment benefit (WW) contribution for employees with a fixed-term contract and a high unemployment benefit (WW) contribution for employees with a flexible contract. The Employee Insurance Agency (‘Uitvoeringsinstituut Werknemersverzekeringen’ – UWV) organizes the payment of employee benefits.

Other Benefits

Employers may offer their employees benefits in addition to the system of social security insurances and benefits provided by the government, as state benefits have restrictions such as maximum amounts or linked to specific criteria. These supplemental benefits are considered general employee benefits.
Benefit Statutory Requirement Market Practice
Holiday Allowance 8.33% of salary (paid in May) As per the Collective Labour Agreement applicable to the company
Annual Leave Minimum paid leave of 4x the number of days worked per week Provide a total of 25-30 days (20 vacation days are statutory for full-time employment)
Maternity Leave Provide 16 weeks of maternity leave with 4 weeks of leave before the expected date of childbirth Follow statutory requirement
Sick Leave Employer must provide sickness benefits equal to 70% of the employee’s daily wage Supplement short-term sickness benefits up to 100% of the employee’s salary prior to sickness in the first year of illness. Lowers to 70% in the second year of illness
Paternity Leave Provide 1 week of parental leave. As of July 1, 2020 provide 5 weeks of additional parental leave Follow statutory requirement


In addition to the mandatory benefits, employers will often provide a range of benefits to help recruit and retain employees. The most common fringe benefits include:

  • Private pension plans
  • Income protection
  • Transport allowances
  • Group healthcare insurance
  • Education reimbursement
  • Flexible working hours / flexible leave models

Rules Regarding Visas and Foreign Workers in Netherlands

General Information

Workers of Dutch nationality or the nationality of another country within the EEA or Switzerland can work in the Netherlands without a work permit.


People from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland often need to obtain a work permit, of which there are two types:

  • Employment permit (TWV)
  • Single permit (GVVA) – also known as a combined residence and work permit

An employer may only employ someone from outside the EEA and Switzerland in the following situations:

  • The employer is unable to find a suitable candidate from an EEA country or Switzerland
  • The vacancy has been open for at least five weeks or at least three months for vacancies that are difficult to fill. The UWV decides whether a vacancy is difficult to fill.
  • The employer has done all it can to hire a worker from the Netherlands, the EEA or Switzerland.

The UWV applies the same criteria to assess applications for a TWV or GVVA. Which of the two permits is required depends on how long the foreign national will be working in the Netherlands. Foreign workers can apply for a GVVA themselves but only employers can apply for a TWV.

Employment permit (TWV):

Some groups of foreign nationals do not need to apply for a single permit. However, the employer must still apply to the Employee Insurance Agency (UWV) for an employment permit (TWV). These include employees coming to work in the Netherlands for less than three months.

Single permit (GVVA):

Foreign nationals from outside the EEA and Switzerland must apply for a single permit (GVVA) if they are coming to the Netherlands to work for more than three months.


Getting a Tax Number

All residents in the Netherlands should obtain a Dutch Citizen Service Number (‘Burgerservicenummer’ – BSN), the national individual identification number in the Netherlands. This Dutch Citizen Service Number is used for many official processes, including housing, work, studies and taxes.
The BSN is tied to the national register (‘Basisregistratie’ – BRP) in the Netherlands. Registering with the BRP is key for getting the Citizen Service Number in the Netherlands. After registering with the BRP, the Dutch BSN will be received. This is necessary for any interactions with the Dutch government or public services, including receiving Dutch social security and healthcare in the Netherlands. This means that the ‘Burgerservicenummer’ functions as a social security number, a national identification number and a tax number in the Netherlands.

Public Holidays Recognized by Netherlands in 2024

Occasion Date
1 New Year’s Day January 1
2 Good Friday March 29
3 Easter Sunday March 31
4 Easter Monday April 1
5 King’s Day April 27
6 Liberation Day May 5
7 Ascension Day May 9
8 Whit Sunday May 19
9 Whit Monday May 20
10 Christmas Day December 25
11 Second Day of Christmas December 26

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