Unemployment benefit in the Netherlands: Requirements

Unemployment benefit in the Netherlands: Requirements

As soon as you receive the unemployment benefit, you are obliged to look for a job. Consequently, it is absolutely essential to show proof of job applications. The type of proof and frequency of job applications have to be agreed with the personal job advisors assigned by UWV.

"26 out of 36 weeks" ruling

To be eligible for WW benefit you need to satisfy the "26 out of 36 weeks" ruling, which states that you must have been employed for at least 26 out of the 36 weeks before the first day of unemployment as well as under 65 years old and available for work.

WW weeks requirement

A former employee, who meets only the required number of weeks, will receive WW benefit up to a maximum of three months.

WW years requirement

An employee who has been made redundant and who has received wages for at least 52 days for four (out of the five) last calendar years from the year of unemployment, is eligible for the unemployment benefit. In this case, the duration of the benefit depends on the unemployment history. The benefit will be payable for as many months as the number of years the person was employed.

Changes unemployment legislation (2015)

On July 1, 2015, the Dutch government made alterations to the unemployment system. The most important changes include:

Introduction of job transition allowance

The new transition payment (transitievergoeding) replaces the single severance payment (ontslagvergoeding) for workers who are made redundant after two or more years with the same employer and is intended to help people bridge the period between jobs with training or professional development.

This transition allowance (which is separate from the WW unemployment benefit) can be up to a total value of 75.000 euros or one year’s salary and is also available for employees whose temporary contracts are not renewed after a period of two years.

Obligation to work after six months

People who receive the WW unemployment benefit are obliged to accept any job offer after six months, regardless of role or salary.

Income while on WW benefits

People who do work in conjunction with their WW benefit will be entitled to keep 30 percent (bruto) of what they earn. This revision has the aim of encouraging more benefit recipients to pursue full-time work.

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