July 2021: 13 things changing in the Netherlands from today
Summer has officially started, and as June fades into July, the Netherlands can look forward to a number of changes. From deposits on small plastic bottles to changes to the national minimum wage, here are 13 things changing in the Netherlands from July 1.
1. Higher minimum wage
As of July 1, the national minimum wage increases from 1.684,80 euros to 1.701,00 euros per month (gross). The minimum wage for workers under the age of 21 will also increase, as 18-year-olds will now earn 850,50 euros per month, and 16-year-olds will earn 586,85 euros per month. The maximum daily wage has also increased from 223,40 per day to 225.57 per day (gross).
As a result of the changes to the minimum wage, a number of benefits will also be increased, depending on an individual’s situation (age, relationship status, family):
- Participatiewet (social assistance benefit, income supplement)
- IOAW and IOAZ (benefits for the unemployed elderly)
- WIA, WAO, Wajong, and ZW (disability and sickness benefits)
- WW (unemployment benefits)
- Toeslagenwet (covers WW, WIA, WAO, Wajong and ZW allowances)
- AOW (state pension)
- Anw (survivor’s benefits)
- Kinderbijslag (child benefits)
2. Statutory holidays from 2020 will expire
The statutory holidays that workers accrued over the course of 2020 will expire in July. Your employer should let you know the exact date these holidays will expire, giving you enough time to use them up.
3. New VAT laws for packages in the EU
Changes to EU law mean that, from July 1, VAT will be charged on all packages coming from outside of the union, even those valued at under 22 euros. This means packages will become 21 percent more expensive. Read more about the changes to EU VAT law here.
4. Extra charges for withdrawing money
Anyone who has withdrawn more than 12.000 euros in cash in one year will be required to pay a couple euros extra at each cash withdrawal as well as a percentage of the amount withdrawn for each subsequent withdrawal at a cash machine in the Netherlands. ABN Amro is the first bank to implement this new rule, and Rabobank will follow after the summer.
5. 15 cent deposit on small plastic bottles
While shoppers already pay a deposit on large plastic and glass bottles, the Dutch government has also introduced a deposit for small plastic bottles which will come into effect on July 1. This change to Dutch law means small plastic bottles (500ml) will become 15 cents more expensive. Read more about the new deposit here.
6. No more annoying telemarketing calls
This is a great one for all those people out there who hate unexpected phone calls from unknown numbers. Due to a change in telecom law, from July 1, telemarketers will no longer be allowed to make cold calls to customers, selling products or services. If you would like to be contacted, you will have to give explicit permission via an opt-in system, but it is worth noting that companies will still be able to phone people who are current or former clients.
7. Easier residence permits for highly skilled migrants
The conditions set by the Dutch government for start-ups to hire employees from abroad will be relaxed slightly from July 1, which means it will be easier for highly skilled migrants to live and work in the Netherlands.
8. Valuing your house to become more expensive
As a result of new EU laws, anyone planning a property valuation (WOZ waarde) can expect to be charged more from July - potentially hundreds of euros more. Furthermore, the valuation report will be required to include more detail, and must accurately describe which sustainable investments are required for the home.
9. Potential hike in energy prices
Anyone who doesn't have a smart energy meter in their home can expect to see their energy bills rise from July. Up until now, even households without a smart meter have been charged a lower rate at night, but this will no longer apply. Furthermore, the variable energy rates will increase by 25 percent compared to last year.
10. Alcohol discounts: No more buy one get one free
A change to Dutch law means the discounts supermarkets and shops can offer on alcohol will be capped. From July 1, discounts will be capped at 25 percent, which will bring an end to buy one get one free on all alcoholic beverages. The government hopes the new law will reduce drinking among young people.
11. Travel internationally using the CoronaCheck app
From July 1, people across the EU will be able to travel between EU member states using the EU COVID-19 certificate. In the Netherlands, this means anyone can upload a recent negative test result, proof of vaccination, or proof of recovery from COVID-19 to the government's CoronaCheck app. Read more about how the app works here.
Furthermore, anyone travelling abroad in July (or August) is eligible for a free coronavirus test.
12. Smoking areas in public buildings to close
As of July 1, smoking areas in government and public buildings (i.e. hospitals, schools, museums, town halls) will be forced to close. These buildings will become smoking-free zones under the government's National Prevention Agreement, which aims to significantly reduce the number of smokers in the Netherlands.
13. Meteor showers and planets on the horizon
While it might not technically be a change, July does offer some exciting astronomical phenomena that you can look forward to. If you look to the skies just after sunset on July 13, you might be lucky enough to see the conjunction of Mars and Venus, and right at the end of the Month (July 28 and 29), you'll have the chance to see the peak of the Delta Aquarids Meteor Shower.