November 2022: 9 things expats in the Netherlands need to know
You can take down the Halloween decorations and start digging out the tinsel. As we wave goodbye to October and welcome a brand new month, here are nine things expats living and working in the Netherlands need to know about this November.
1. Next round of STAP applications to open
On November 1, applications once again re-open for people in the Netherlands to apply for the STAP budget scheme. Under the scheme - which the Dutch government launched in March - people with jobs and unemployed people can apply for a 1.000-euro subsidiary to cover the costs of a course or training programme.
2. More Dutch health insurers to announce 2023 premiums
This year, DSW was the first Dutch health insurance company to announce its premiums for the new year. All of the rest have until November 12 to announce their rates for 2023 - but don’t worry, you have until the end of the year to compare packages and change health insurers if you want!
3. Dutch government’s energy support measures come into effect
While the full list of measures that were announced on Prinsjesdag won’t kick off until January, the first round of financial support measures designed to help households and families cover the rising cost of gas and electricity will come into effect in November. This month, all households will receive a 190-euro discount on their rising energy bills.
To keep it simple, you won’t need to do anything in order to receive this discount - most energy suppliers will automatically provide you with it on your monthly bill, while others will transfer the money directly to your bank account. If your total bill for the month is less than 190 euros, the difference will be deducted from your annual bill.
4. Financial support for SMEs facing high energy bills
In addition to the compensation offered to all households, the Dutch government is launching a scheme on November 1 designed to help small and medium-sized businesses whose energy bills correspond to at least 12,5 percent of their outgoing costs pay for their rising bills. From this month, these businesses are eligible to receive up to 160.000 euros in compensation via the government's Energy Cost Contribution scheme (TEK).
5. Sinterklaas comes to town!
You might not want to fully adopt all the Dutch traditions and customs, but you probably already know that before you can sit back and enjoy Christmas, there’s one very important Dutch holiday that comes first: Sinterklaas. While the actual day isn’t celebrated until December 5, the big man himself and his helpers will travel from Spain on their boat before arriving in the Netherlands this month. This year, the national arrival will be hosted by Hellevoetsluis (a town near Rotterdam), but similar events will be organised in towns and cities across the country.
6. NS cuts more train services
As a result of the ongoing shortage of workers, Nederlandse Spoorwegen (NS) has once again been forced to cut various services on their timetable, meaning that from November 7 even fewer trains will be running.
7. No more Deliveroo in the Netherlands
Earlier this year, Deliveroo announced that it would be pulling out of the Dutch market, and in October the delivery company announced they’d be disappearing from streets in the Netherlands at the end of November. Their final day of operations will be on November 30.
8. Dutch children to celebrate Sint-Maarten
A slightly more obscure Dutch holiday, but a lovely tradition nonetheless, Sint-Maarten is kind of the Dutch equivalent of Halloween. Taking place every year on November 11, this day sees young children go door-to-door holding (handmade) lanterns and singing songs in exchange for sweets or money. Find out more about this wholesome Dutch tradition in our expat guide to Sint-Maarten.
9. First Christmas markets to pop up across the Netherlands
You might think the beginning of November is a little too early to start thinking about Christmas, but the fact of the matter is that Santa Claus will be here before you know it. If you’re keen to get into the festive spirit, then now is the time to do it! The first Christmas markets, fairs and events will be kicking off in the Netherlands this month, with the Christmas Fair at Doorn House now just a few short days away!