Dutch working environment

Working hours in the Netherlands

According to Dutch law, you should not work more than eight hours per day or 40 hours per week.

Depending on the industry, a maximum of nine hours per day and 45 hours per week could be the case, but no one is allowed to work more than 2.080 hours a year. Consequently, the average working week in the Netherlands is approximately 40 hours.

There is also the option of a "four-day week" meaning you work 10 hours per day. However, a specific agreement with the employer should be made in advance. Organisational culture and employment policies are also important factors to consider.

Finally, no matter what, all employees should be given a 30-minute break after they complete 4,5 hours of work.

Labour contracts in the Netherlands

In general, there are three labour options that differ on the employment period and dismissal procedures. As always, specific arrangements with the employer can be made.

Temporary labour contracts

This type of contract has a pre-specified startand end date. In other words, there is no dismissal procedure at the end of the contract.

 Permanent labour contracts

In this case, there is no end date. The contract can be terminated by either the employer or the employee only under pre-determined conditions.

 Contracts with a recruitment agency

The recruitment agency is your legal employer even though you work for a specific organisation. Note that there is no arrangement for your protection against dismissal.

Gross salary & net income in the Netherlands

With a 2.500 euros contract per month you will take home around 1.770 euros. Salaries are sky-high but so are taxes. When you sign a job contract, you negotiate a gross salary (i.e. before tax subtraction) but what you are really interested in is the net income (i.e. what goes directly to your bank account). You can download the income calculator here.

Remuneration packages

Salaries, holidays and bonuses are offered as a package in the Netherlands. Yet, what you should ask for and expect depends on your academic background and work experience. As an example:

For an entry-level position with a Master's degree, the monthly salary varies between 2.300-2.500 euros gross.

 Every May there is a bonus equivalent to 8% of annual earnings.

 The number of vacation days is usually 24 per year. However, it is common for companies to offer more days off as an additional incentive.

 Some employers offer the possibility to "buy" extra days off.

 The nation's minimum wage can be changed every six months to adjust to inflation.

Minimum wage in the Netherlands

For an employee aged 23 or over in full employment, the gross minimum wage as of July 1, 2014 is 1.495,20 per month (8,36 euro an hour).

How to nail a job interview in the Netherlands

Do interviews in the Netherlands work differently to in your home country? Check out these excellent tips to ace your next Dutch job interview.

New rules for reimbursing employee expenses in the Netherlands

As of January 1, 2015, new rules will come into play for the Dutch Work Expenses Scheme (WKR). Find out how it may affect your job or business.

Working in the Netherlands: changes to Dutch labour law

On January 1, 2015, the Dutch labour law will change drastically. Find out how it could affect your work agreement in this overview.

Most useful languages for working in the Netherlands

What are the most useful languages for working as an expat in the Netherlands? This article discusses the languages which are most in demand.

More expat women in top jobs in the Netherlands

The number of female CFOs in the AEX top 25 companies has gone from zero to three in the past six months- and they're all expats.

Stress is most common occupational hazard in the Netherlands

A growing number of Dutch workers suffer from stress burnout, at great expense to government and business.

Working in the Netherlands: non-compete clauses

Do employees in the Netherlands need to take non-compete or relations clauses seriously? Here's how it works from a legal perspective.

How to transition your career into a new industry

Thinking about a career change? It's a challenging move but it can be done! Here are 9 tips to help you start the process.

Cultural conflicts in the Dutch working environment

In many of the struggles non-Dutch experience while working for a company in the Netherlands, a cultural difference is often at the heart of it.

Dutch employee satisfaction fourth highest in Europe

By their own estimation, Dutch employees are some of the best off in Europe, going by their rate of satisfaction with working conditions in the Netherlands.

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