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 pre-specified start and end dates. In other words, there is no dismissal procedure at the end of the contract.

As of July 1, 2015, employees who have worked for the same employer for two years on temporary contracts are entitled to a permanent contract if the work agreement continues. The previous period was three years.

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

As of July 1, 2015, the minimum wage (gross) for a full-time employee aged 23 or older is 1.507,80 euros per month, or 69,59 euros per day. This is equal to 8,70 euros per hour based on a 40 hour working week.

Dutch government to support companies hiring people with disabilities

The Dutch government has announced plans to support employers in hiring people with physical and psychological disabilities using a new policy.

1 in 400 new businesses grow to gazelle status in the Netherlands

Which industries have the fastest-growing companies in the Netherlands? New figures reveal some interesting trends in Dutch business development.

A job that makes you happy: 5 ways to increase job satisfaction

Work does not have to be just a source of income. A job that gives you satisfaction is not just a myth, and these tips can help get you there.

Employee or contractor? Important advice for freelancers in the Netherlands

The new model agreement system for freelancers highlights how essential it is to define your working relationship with clients.

Can you lose your job playing Pokémon Go in the Netherlands?

News of a young worker sent home for playing Pokémon Go at the office has sparked a discussion about workplace internet use that can lead to dismissal.

Feeling stuck? 7 tips to get your career moving

Are you ready for your next career step? Here are some great tips on how to push your career to the next level.

Workplace bullying: everyone’s responsibility

What is workplace bullying and why is it an important issue? How can or should you react in instances of such undesired behaviour?

Starting a business as sole proprietor in the Netherlands

Finsens Taxation explain the basic rules and requirements of starting your own business as an expat in the Netherlands.

How to get a wrongful dismissal annulled in the Netherlands

In 2015, dismissal law was significantly changed in the Netherlands. Here's what you need to remember if you want to challenge wrongful dismissal.

Losing your job as an expat in the Netherlands

Find out what you need to know and do if you lose your job as an expat in the Netherlands. De Vreede Advocaten explains how you can protect yourself.




This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse IamExpat.nl you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Click here to learn more