Dutch law – what’s changing on Jan 1, 2020?

Dutch law – what’s changing on Jan 1, 2020?

There are plenty of changes afoot for Dutch law in the New Year. So here’s a look at the main ones changing on Jan 1, 2020.

Employment and income

There are plenty of laws changing when it comes to this category; however, one of the main ones is the implementation of the Balance Employment Market Act (WAB). This law brings with it a number of changes, including the right to a transition payment from the first day one starts working at a company and fixed-hour contracts for those on-call employees working at a company for 12 months or longer, amongst other things. Under this act, on-call employees must also be informed of their shifts at least four days in advance.

Another big thing happening in the world of employment and income is the move from three tax brackets to just two. Income up to 68.507 euros will be taxed at 37,35 percent and above this amount will be taxed at 49,50 percent. Many people will benefit from higher net salaries because of this.

Entrepreneurs in the Netherlands

This area has a bunch of new regulations. Amongst them are a decrease to the corporate tax rate and a decrease in the income tax paid for money earned from a substantial business interest. The VAT rules (KOR) are also being amended. This should lower the administrative burden for smaller entrepreneurs. The welfare benefit for self-employed persons (Bbz) will also be adjusted, making it easier for those applying for it and for the municipalities administering it.

Family matters

Good news for families in the Netherlands, as childcare benefit and child benefit are increasing. Moreover, it may not be happening on Jan 1, but parental leave after a birth will be increased to allow partners to take an extra five weeks of leave at 70 percent of their salary. This will be implemented on July 1, 2020.

The period for which an ex-partner has to pay alimony is also decreasing per Jan 1. It will now be five years, instead of 12.


There are a few important things changing next year, including two laws regarding involuntary care which will be implemented on Jan 1. These laws allow someone to be, for example, forced into being admitted to a facility. Next year, healthcare allowance will be increasing and the basic package will be expanded slightly. Own risk will not increase.

Justice and security

As of 2020, women will also be included when it comes to compulsory military service. All girls aged 17 will receive a letter about this service. Of course, in practice not much will change, the Armed Forces hasn’t called for new conscripts since 1996.

On the justice front, revenge porn will be a separate, punishable offence, carrying a sentence of a maximum of two years of jail time. The punishment for serious traffic offences is also going up, with the jail sentence, even in cases where no damage is done, increasing from two months jail time to six months. The punishment for reckless driving and causing a serious accident will now carry a maximum prison sentence of six years.

Traffic and transport

On the subject of cars, from Jan 1, 2020, there will be national rules for municipalities with environmental zones. Municipalities can implement yellow or green environmental zones for diesel automobiles. The amount of polluting substances your vehicle gives off will determine whether or not you can enter these zones.

For the next few years, the tax breaks for electric cars will remain, meaning you won’t have to pay vehicle tax (mrb) or purchase tax (bpm) for your electric car until 2025. Those with older diesel cars will have to pay a 15 percent particulate matter surcharge on top of their road tax.

The fiscal regulations concerning company bicycles are also changing per Jan 1, making it a more attractive option and easier for employers to offer to employees. Entrepreneurs will also be able to profit from the new company bicycle regulations.


Home mortgage interest deduction is decreasing for those with an income of 68.507 euros from 49 percent to 46 percent.

Mina Solanki


Mina Solanki

Completed her Master's degree at the University of Groningen and worked as a translator before joining IamExpat. She loves to read and has a particular interest in Greek mythology. In...

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Godelieve Danker 02:02 | 1 January 2020

The people who are mentally and physically disabled have had a hard enough time making ends meet with all the austerity that they have been put through the last few years. It would be nice if they might see some increase in their benefits in 2020.