Basic Facts

The Netherlands (also known as Holland), is located in northwestern Europe. The kingdom includes its former colonies in the Lesser Antilles: Aruba, Bonaire, Curaçao, Saba, Sint Eustatius, and Sint Maarten. Around 2,500 square miles (6,500 square km) of the country consists of reclaimed land. The Netherlands ranks among the highest in international indices of press and economic freedom, human development, and quality of life as well as happiness.


*Please note that the official currency is the currency of remuneration when employed through WorkMotion in the Netherlands.

Capital :
Currency :
Euro (€, EUR)
Languages spoken :
Population :
17.53 million (2022 est.)
Minimum wage 2023 :
€1934.4 monthly (21 years and above).
Cost of Living index :
$$$$ (17 of 139 nations)
Payroll Frequency :
VAT - standard rate :
GDP - real growth rate :
5% (2021 est.)

Statutory Holidays

There are eight public holidays. Bridge days apply for religious holidays to create long weekends.

The national holidays mentioned below are valid for the year 2023.

Holiday Name
Extra Information
January 1
New Year’s Day
April 7
Good Friday
April 9
Easter Sunday
April 17-18
Easter Monday
April 27
Kings Day
May 18
Ascension Day
May 28
Whit Sunday
May 29
Whit Monday
December 25
Christmas Day
December 26
Boxing Day

Contract Sharing Time

The approximate time for sharing the contract with an employee in the Netherlands is 4 business days assuming no special requests or changes to our standard employment contract. Any such requests or changes would need to undergo internal and external review, directly leading to a time delay.

NOTE: This number is subject to change and is only an estimation of the Contract Sharing Time. The estimated Contract Sharing Time begins from the moment that WorkMotion has received all required information from both the client and the employee.

What You Need To Know

  • A Holiday allowance that is 8% of the employee’s gross yearly wage is paid to the employee in the month of May, or at the end of employment (whichever comes first).
  • An employee must receive a permanent contract after three consecutive temporary contracts, or after temporary contracts over a period of three years. A fourth contract (i.e. a third extension), or contract exceeding the three-year mark, will automatically turn into a permanent one. 
  • For temporary contracts, the employer-paid contribution to the unemployment benefit plan is 5% higher than on permanent contracts.
  • When the employer instructs the employee to work from home, the employer must ensure that the work can be done from home.

Labor Conditions

Working Hours

Most Collective Bargaining Agreements (“Collectieve Arbeidsovereenkomst”, CAOs) specify a 40-hour maximum working week. Exceptions are possible, for example: seasonal work, peak times, or in the event of unforeseen circumstances such as a serious accident on the shop floor. In such cases, the employees can work more hours per day temporarily.

Employees aged 18 and over can work a maximum of 12 hours per day and 60 hours per week. However, they cannot work the maximum number of hours every week, but rather a maximum average of:

  • 48 hours weekly over a 16-week period, or
  • 55 hours weekly in up to four consecutive weeks.

Overtime hours count towards the statutory maximum hours the employee can work, which is 12 hours per day or 60 hours per week. The law does not state how much extra pay the employee must receive for overtime. Employers can make their own arrangements for this in the terms of employment, or there may be overtime provisions in the CAO.

Probation Period

The employer and the employee can agree on including a trial period in their employment contract. The duration of a trial period depends on the duration of the employment contract. However, it may never exceed a two-month period. The same period applies to both the employer and the employee. Also, the probation periods differ as per employment contracts:


Employment ContractDuration Of ContractMaximum Trial Period
Fixed-term6 months to 2 years1 month
Temporary contracts6 months to 2 years1 month
More than 2 years2 months
Permanent contractsNot applicable2 months
Termination Notice Period

The length of the notice period for an employer depends on the duration of the employment contract, with a maximum duration of four months. 

In case of an indefinite contract, both the employer and employee are obliged to adhere to notice periods ranging between one to four months depending on the employment duration.

Leave / Time Off

Annual Leave

The minimum number of holiday days in the Netherlands is set at 20. The statutory number of leave hours per year is at least four times the number of weekly working hours. Employees may choose to spend the holidays within six months after the end of the year.

Sick Leave

If an employee is out sick, the employer is obliged to pay at least 70% of their last earned wages for a maximum period of two years. This percentage needs to be stated in the employment contract. During the first year of illness, 70% of the employee’s normal wages must be paid. Should this amount to less than the minimum wage, the employer has to supplement the payment up to the minimum wage. During the second year of illness, 70% of the employee’s normal wages should be paid. However, the employer is not obliged to supplement the payment up to the minimum wage. 

Parental Leave

The government has decided to pay the first nine weeks of parental leave as of August 2022. Parents can take up to 26 weeks’ leave. The Employee Insurance Agency (Uitvoeringsinstituut Werknemersverzekeringen, UWV) pays 50% of an employee’s daily wages during parental leave, up to 50% of the maximum daily wage. Parents will have to use the nine weeks’ paid leave in the first year after the child is born.


Maternity Leave

Pregnant employees are entitled to six weeks of paid pregnancy leave (before the due date) and at least ten weeks maternity leave (after childbirth) from the employer. In some cases, maternity leave can be longer than ten weeks. The employee also has a right to maternity pay. The employer applies for this benefit for the employee


Paternity Leave

If the partner of an employee gives birth, the employee has a right to one week of partner/paternity leave after the birth. This paid leave can be taken any time in the first four weeks after the birth of the child. During this period of leave, the employer must continue to pay 100% of the employee’s salary.

Other Types of Paid Leave

Emergency Leave (Calamiteitenverlof)

Emergency leave is intended for unforeseen personal circumstances for which an employee has to take time off immediately. For instance, to make arrangements for the care of a sick family member or in the event of a death in the family. The employer must always grant a reasonable request for emergency leave. During this period of leave, the employer continues to pay the employee’s salary. This lasts for just one day. Short-term care leave starts from the second day.


Short-term Care Leave (Kortdurend zorgverlof)

Short-term care leave can be taken to provide essential care to someone who is ill or otherwise in real need. For this leave, the employee must be the only person who can look after the ill person at that moment in time. During the period of leave, the employer continues to pay 70% of the employee’s salary. If this is less than the minimum wage, then the employer pays the minimum wage. The employee is entitled to a maximum of two times the number of hours they work per week, as agreed in the employment contract.

Unpaid Leave

Employees do not have any legal entitlement to unpaid leave. However, it is possible for the CAO to include arrangements relating to unpaid leave.


Long-term Care Leave

If a child, partner, or parent of one of the employees is seriously (i.e. life-threateningly) ill and requires care, they can request long-term care leave. During this period of leave, the employer does not have to continue paying the employee’s salary. The employee is entitled to a maximum of six times the number of hours they work per week per 12 months. 

Statutory Benefits

There are two types of social insurance schemes in the Netherlands:

  • Employee insurance (werknemersverzekeringen) is mandatory for every employee that works in the Netherlands and provides employment-related benefits. Thus, this is applicable to all employees in the Netherlands, in addition to the National Insurance.
  • National insurance (volksverzekeringen) is compulsory for those living in the Netherlands and covers social benefits, so applicable for all residents of the Netherlands.


The following table summarizes the contributions for 2023:

CategoryEmployer Premium (January 2023)
Basic WAO/WIA premium
  • Large and Medium-Sized Employers: 7.11%
  • Small Employers: 5.82%
Adequate Pension
  • 15.8%
Unemployment insurance premium*
  • General Unemployment Fund premium (Awf low): 2.64%
  • Premium General Unemployment Fund (Awf-high): 7.64%
The differentiated premium for the Resumption of Work Fund (Whk)** in 2023 is made up of 3 premium components:

  • WGA for permanent employment
  • WGA for flexible employment contracts
  • Sickness Benefits Act for flexible employment relationships.
  • WGA
    • Average percentage: 0.87%
    • Average Employer Risk Rate: 0.59%
  • Sickness Benefits
    • Average Percentage: 0.66%
    • Average Employer Risk Rate: 0.42%
Childcare Allowance0.5% of gross salary
Employer’s Levy Health Insurance Act (ZVW)6.68% of gross salary

Health Insurance

In the Netherlands, there is no obligation for the employer to provide a healthcare insurance policy. There is, however, a levy on the health insurance Act that is paid by the employer at 6.68%.

Every person who lives or works in the Netherlands is legally obliged to take out standard (basic) health insurance to cover the cost of, for example, consulting a general practitioner, hospital treatment, and prescription medication.

Other Insurances

Accident Insurance

In the Netherlands, there are no separate schemes for industrial accidents and occupational diseases. The rules for sick pay in the event of illness and work incapacity benefits apply to all cases of illness or incapacity for work. If an employee becomes ill and is in paid employment, the employer must continue to pay at least 70% of the pay for at least two years.

Unemployment Insurance

The duration of the benefit depends on the number of years worked before becoming unemployed. The amount of the benefit depends on the income earned in the year prior to unemployment. The employee must have been employed at least 26 out of 36 weeks to be eligible. They must be available for work, under 65 years of age, and should not have lost their job due to their fault.

Other Statutory Benefits

Childcare Allowance

According to the Dutch Childcare Act, parents, employers, and the government must jointly bear the costs of formal childcare. The government does so by imposing a childcare levy on all employers. The law assumes that the employers of the two partners together pay a third of the costs. The contributions by the employers and the government are paid out by the tax authorities by means of child care allowances.

The childcare allowance is provided on a per-child basis, whereby an allowance is determined and provided for each child. The amount of the childcare allowance will depend on both the childcare costs and the family’s income situation. Each year, the Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment publishes tables for childcare allowance.


The information contained in this Country Guide is provided for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject matter. The contents of this Country Guide contain general information and may not reflect current legal developments or address your situation. You should not act or refrain from acting on the basis of any content included in this Country Guide without seeking the advice or representation of a licensed attorney. WorkMotion Software GmbH disclaims all liability for actions you take or fail to take based on any content included in this Country Guide.

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