General

How to hire Dutch or foreign employees by Dutch companies with a business in the Netherlands?

If you run a business in the Netherlands and intend to employ staff, you will have to deal with various government rules and regulations.

Recruit personnel initially in the EEA

If you have a company in the Netherlands and you are looking for personnel, you are obliged to recruit first of all within the European Economic Area (EEA) and/or Switzerland. You will have to demonstrate that you cannot find a suitable employee in either the EEA or Switzerland before being permitted to recruit in other countries.

Apply for a work permit

If unable to find suitable personnel in either the EEA or Switzerland, you usually require a work permit for employees from Bulgaria, Romania and non-EEA countries. A work permit is not required if the worker comes from an EEA member country or from Switzerland.

The permit for highly skilled migrants enables you to bring talented employees to the Netherlands without having to prove a lack of suitable candidates in Europe. The employee should fulfill specific wage requirements.

Verify and register the identity of your employees

If you have a business in the Netherlands and employ staff, you must verify the identity of all workers on the basis of an original identity document. This applies to both Dutch and foreign workers who you employ.

Organize accommodation for foreign employees

If you have a company in the Netherlands and you employ foreign workers on a temporary basis, you will in some cases be obliged to provide suitable accommodation. This obligation applies if it is included as a provision in the Collective Labour Agreement for your business sector or if you employ workers who need a work permit.

Register as an employer with Dutch Tax Authorities

If you set up or take over a business in the Netherlands, you must register with the Dutch Tax Authorities. This happens automatically when you register your business in the Dutch Trade Register (‘Handelsregister’) at the Chamber of Commerce (‘Kamer van Koophandel’). The latter will pass on your details to the Dutch Tax Authorities. The entry in the Dutch Trade Register must take place within one week of the start of your business.

Ask your employees for a tax and social insurance number

When you register with a Dutch municipality, you will receive a citizen service number (BSN). The Dutch government uses this unique personal identification number when processing your personal data. You can use the BSN to identify yourself to government agencies, health care providers and educational institutions.

Enter into a contract of employment

A contract of employment is an agreement between an employee and an employer. You enter into a contract of employment for a fixed term (a temporary contract) or for an indefinite period (a permanent contract). A contract of employment can be agreed in writing or verbally.

The minimum wage

All employees are entitled to a minimum wage. This is reset twice a year (currently at around EUR 1,500 gross a month).

Holidays

All employees are entitled to a statutory minimum holiday allowance of 8% of their gross yearly salary. The statutory annual minimum holiday period is four times the number of working days per week. A fulltime worker works five days / 40 hours per week, so the minimum days of holiday is 20 days.

Check whether you are required to deduct social insurance premiums

If you have a company in the Netherlands, you may have to deal with employee insurance schemes and national insurance, including social insurance against loss of income due, for instance, to unemployment, old age, illness or incapacity for work.

Pensions

Everyone living in the Netherlands is entitled to a state pension when they reach pensionable age (currently 65 but increasing in stages to 67 as of 2022). Although not required by law, it is common for employees to also participate in a pension offered by the employer. In most cases, the premiums are shared between the employer and the employee (not necessarily on a 50/50 basis). Sometimes the employer has to offer a certain pension scheme to all employees based on the applicable collective bargaining agreement or a compulsory sectorial pension fund.