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).

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.

Dutch workforce is considered the most adaptable

Dutch workers are some of the most likely globally to embrace change and learn new skills, according to a survey of talent adaptability in major economies.

Some Dutch companies invading their workers’ privacy

Dutch privacy watchdog has found some companies in the Netherlands are not respecting their employees' rights to privacy in the workplace.

What’s most important for Dutch workers?

New statistics show that employees in the Netherlands consider a pleasant workplace the most important aspect of their job.

How to solve conflicts in a multicultural workplace

Many think of changing jobs. But it often turns out that it’s not the content that is less appealing, but unresolved conflicts with colleagues or bosses.

Dutch employees find the crisis is no reason to work harder

Three-quarters of Dutch employees do not view the financial crisis as a reason to work harder.

Foreign entrepreneurs able to work more easily in the Netherlands

The rules for entrepreneurs and freelancers from outside the European Union who want to establish themselves in the Netherlands are being relaxed.

The Netherlands has the shortest work week in the world!

A study by the OECD reveals that the Netherlands has some of the best working conditions in the world, with a high average salary and low working hours.

How to swim in a Dutch working environment

In these articles, personal coach and trainer Peter Koijen shares tips on how to survive in a Dutch working environment!

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