If you work in the Netherlands, you may come into contact with the UWV if you face dismissal at work or cannot work due to health issues and need to have your capabilities assessed.
What is the UWV?
The UWV or Uitvoeringsinstituut Werknemersverzekeringen is the Employee Insurance Agency in the Netherlands. They are an independent administrative authority commissioned by the Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment (SZW).
What is the UWV responsible for?
The UWV is responsible for implementing employee insurances, such as unemployment insurance, which is key if you would like to request unemployment benefits, and the Sickness Benefits Act, amongst others.
Which areas do the UWV offer assistance in?
The UWV offers assistance in many areas, from finding a job in the Netherlands, to maternity leave and losing your job.
Employment and unemployment
If you are dismissed from your job, you may be entitled to unemployment benefits and you will need to apply for this at the UWV. Of course to be eligible for unemployment benefits, you will need to meet certain requirements.
If you register with the UWV as a job seeker they can help you to search for a job in a Dutch or international company via their werk.nl website. To gain access to this website you will need a DigiD. In addition to this they can also advise you on the procedures you should follow if you become unemployed or know that your employment contract is coming to an end without renewal.
The UWV also deal with cases where employees are sick. In this case their Social Medical Affairs division will assess your labour capacity and ability to take on workload. If you become sick and have no employer, you may be eligible for Sickness Benefit.
The UWV keeps track of all data regarding wages, benefits and labour relations of all employed people in the Netherlands. Data is also supplied to other Dutch organisations and agencies such as the Dutch tax office (KvK), the Social Insurance Bank (SVB) and Statistics Netherlands (CBS).
Expats & UWV
Expats may come into contact with the UWV when they:
- Become unemployed and wish to request unemployment benefits.
- Are looking for employment.
- Their employer requests permission to terminate their contract, in which case it is advisable to get legal help.
- Become sick and need to be assessed.
Contacting the UWV
The UWV helpdesk is only available to callers in Dutch, to avoid any language problems it is best to contact a tax advisor. If you are comfortable speaking Dutch then you can contact the UWV by telephone by calling the following numbers. Make sure to have your Citizen Service Number (BSN) to hand. The UWV can be contacted from 8am to 5pm on weekdays.
UWV telephone number for private parties: 0900-92 94
You will be charged a starting tariff of 4,5 cents and then 4 cents for every minute afterwards, plus your usual calling costs. You will also be charged for the period you wait.
UWV telephone number for employers: 0900-92 95
The same calling charges apply to employers.
Visiting the UWV
If you have an appointment with the doctor or labour expert at an UWV office, you will receive a letter with the address details of the office at which you are expected. If you wish to send in a letter of appeal you can also do so at the following offices. Alternatively, find your closest UWV office by visiting UWV directory.
Addresses of branch offices in larger cities are:
UWV office in Amsterdam
Address: Delflandlaan 3-5
Correspondence address: Postbus 8071 1005 AB
UWV office in Rotterdam
Address: Laan Op Zuid 393
Correspondence address: Postbus 51200 3007 GE
UWV office in The Hague
Address: Leeghwaterplein 1
Correspondence address: Postbus 16140 2500 BC
UWV office in Utrecht
Address: Moeder Teresalaan 100 and 200
Correspondence address: Postbus 2064 3500 GB
UWV office in Eindhoven
Address: Boschdijk 20
Correspondence address: Postbus 678 5600 AR
Visiting a Werkplein
If you are using the UWV website to look for a job and need advice or support regarding its use you can visit one of the UWV offices during walk-in hours. To find details of you closest UWV office and walk-in hours visit the werk.nl website (in Dutch).