Dutch employment law

We have contacts who are specialized in helping foreign businesses and their expats with HR matters in the Netherlands.

Temporary employment contracts

An employee can be given three consecutive temporary employment contracts. A fourth contract automatically becomes a permanent one. A temporary employment contract will also be deemed permanent if the total duration of two or more consecutive temporary employment contracts exceeds two years. If a time interval of at least six months occurs between contracts, the count will be restarted.

Probationary period

Under Dutch law there is only a probationary period if this is expressly agreed upon by both parties and if this is concluded in writing. During such a period both parties can terminate the employment agreement at any time.

30 % Ruling: Special tax regime for expats

The Netherlands has a special tax regime for expatriates, the so-called 30% ruling. According to this rule, the employer may grant the employee a tax-free allowance of up to a maximum of 30% of his or her remuneration, for a period of up to 96 months. The employer must be a Dutch wage tax-withholding agent, and is required to make a reasonable case that the employee possesses specific expertise that is not available, or is scarce in the Dutch labour market.

RVW Advies Rob van Westerop

Social security

Employers’ social security rates amount to around 20% on gross salaries, and include health care, unemployment, pension contribution, disability insurance, and sickness benefit.

Sick leave

If an employee becomes ill it is required that at least 70% of their last earned wages are paid, for up to two years.

Holiday pay

Under Dutch employment law employees are entitled to a minimum of 8% of the annual salary.

Pregnancy and maternity/paternity leave

Pregnant employees are entitled to pregnancy and maternity leave for at least sixteen weeks. It is possible to take pregnancy leave from six weeks before the date the baby is due. The pregnancy leave should start no later than four weeks before the baby is due. After giving birth the employee is always entitled to at least ten weeks of maternity leave, even if the baby is born later than it was due. Also paternity leave is given for up to two days after one’s partner has given birth.

Pension insurance

It’s possible to implement a pension scheme for employees, as long as the formation of such a scheme meets the overall conditions governed by Dutch law.


The WKR provides a mechanism to determine the taxable element of cost reimbursements, fringe benefits and other costs related to personnel. Instead of an itemized division of taxable and non-taxable elements per employee, the WKR provides for a maximum amount of tax free aggregate personnel costs stated as a fixed percentage of the total salary sum.