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Continued payment of wages

This information is provided by: Netherlands Enterprise Agency

If you are temporarily unable to provide work to your employees or, when work is available, you fail to call them in, you are obliged to pay them their wages nonetheless. It is possible to exclude this obligation, but only temporarily.

Obligation to pay

You are obliged to pay your employee(s) if:

  • there is less work, but this is for your account and risk, for instance when an order has been cancelled
  • there is enough work, but you fail to call in your on-call employees
  • you have called in your on-call employees, but they are unable to do their work due to technical issues

Who do you have to pay?

The obligation to pay your employees if work is unavailable applies to:

  • Regular employees
  • Temporary employees
  • On-call employees

It does not apply to agency workers or payrollers.

No obligation to pay

You are not obliged to pay your employee(s) if:

  • you have explicitly excluded the obligation to pay in the employment contract
  • your employee(s) is on strike, absent without proper reason, late for work or is in detention

How much do you have to pay?

Regular and temporary workers are entitled to their regular pay. On-call workers should be paid:

  • at least their contractual on-call working hours
  • when work is available, but you fail to call them in
  • their guaranteed working hours, if you have concluded an minimum-maximum employment contract

If you have excluded the obligation to pay wages if no work is available, you are exempt from paying your employees. However, on-call employees are always entitled to a 3 hours pay when called upon.

Exclusion in employment contract

In the employment contract, you could exclude the obligation to pay wages if no work is available. However, you can only do so for the first 6 months of the contract. You cannot exclude sick pay.

Extended exclusion period through cao

Start or extension CAO as of 1 January 2015

You may extend the 6 months exclusion period for certain positions if your sector’s CAO provides for this. However, this only applies to irregular work without a fixed work load, for instance when replacing a sick employee or when hiring someone for peak periods.

Existing cao before 1 January 2015 that is still in force: transition period

If your sector’s CAO allows it, you may extend the exclusion period for the duration of your CAO, but you may do so only until 1 July 2016.

Insurance or compensation possible?

You cannot insure yourself against the obligation to continued payment. However, in some situations, the Employee Insurance Agency (Uitvoeringsinstituut Werknemersverzekeringen, UWV) may support you. This could be the case if, for instance, the lack of work is the result of inclement weather or a temporary transport ban.

This information is provided by:

Netherlands Enterprise Agency

This article is related to:

Any further questions?

Netherlands Enterprise Agency +31 (0)88 602 44 44