employment laws in the netherlands

When you are getting a new job in The Netherlands, it is important to know your rights and what the employment laws in The Netherlands are. When you are employed, you have to know that you have rights and there are laws around each and every persons' employment. Going into your first job completely blind is never a good idea. We are here to help guide you through various types of employment laws and the worker rights that you have. Employment laws vary from country to country, and in The Netherlands they are constantly building and improving their labour laws. There are hundreds of employment laws varying from parental leave to work benefits to discrimination in the workplace.

Dutch Labour law

Under this section, you will be able to read through various types of employment laws in The Netherlands and what they mean, so you can be well informed when going into your first job in The Netherlands.

  1. Terms and conditions of employment

  2. The employment laws in The Netherlands basically balances out the legal relationship and obligations between employers and employees. It is made specifically for employees on contracts. As for employment contracts, they do not have to be written verbally and can, in principle, be said verbally. Moreover, the only minimum employment terms and conditions that should be followed are the following: minimum age of employment, minimum wages, maximum work hours per week, minimum rest period after working hours (which in The Netherlands by law is 11 hours), parental and pregnancy leave, sick leave, short-term/long-term care leave, emergency leave, notice of termination, paid holiday and, lastly, transitional allowance.

  3. Discrimination

  4. The act of equal rights treatment is one of the main acts that enforces equal rights and the restriction of discrimination in The Netherlands. The act of equal treatment blocks any discrimination such as race, religion and belief, gender, pregnancy, political views, sexual orientation, nationality and marital/civil status. The Netherlands does not tolerate any sort of discrimination in the workplace. If you are sadly put in this situation, you have the right to report this discrimination towards you. For more information on reporting discrimination in the workplace, check the Government of The Netherlands webpage, and do not be afraid to speak up!

  5. Parental leave in The Netherlands

  6. As for parental leave, it has always been more common for there to be a maternity leave rather than a paternity leave, however, this has recently changed. Maternity leave before the due date is six weeks and after the child is born it is ten weeks. During these total of 16 weeks, there is a right to be paid for maternity leave. Furthermore, the employers are not allowed to terminate a contract of a pregnant woman. As for paternal leave, the fathers/partners are allowed to use five weeks of partner leave in the first six months after the child is born.

  7. Termination of employment

  8. If an employer is looking to terminate an employee, it has to be done in a certain span of time before the employee's last day. This amount of time but be stated and followed in the contract and should be known as the notice of termination. If you believe that you were wrongfully terminated, you have the right to tell the employer and the employer needs termination approval from the Employee Insurance Agency of the sub-district court. If you would like more detailed and deeper understanding of your wrongful termination rights, check out the Business Government of The Netherlands webpage for more information on employment laws in The Netherlands!

    The Dutch labour laws and employment laws stated above are just a few of many, but these are the ones that stand out the most to a young adult looking for work. If you would like to look at more Dutch labour laws, then the ICLG website will be helpful!

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Employment Laws in The Netherlands

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What are the employee benefits in The Netherlands?

  • Some mandatory employee benefits include; old-age pension, surviving dependent’s pension, long-term care, child support, unemployment, work, income protection, sick leave, and health insurance. Every person in The Netherlands with an employment contract is entitled to most benefits. The benefits that apply to everyone include paid time off, sick leave, parental leave, and are paid minimum wage.

  • What are working hours in The Netherlands?

  • The standard full-time working hours in The Netherlands is 38 hours. Most of the full-time jobs in The Netherlands are between 36 and 40 hours a week, or seven to eight hours per day, five days per week.

  • What is the 30 rule?

  • The 30% rule, from a tax point-of-view, is the salary agreed on between the employee and employer that can be reduced by 30% due to tax reduction. Those who are entitles to the 30% rule are expats who have been recruited from abroad for a work position in The Netherlands.

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