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Government information for entrepreneurs

Employment contract

This information is provided by

Netherlands Enterprise Agency | Statistics Netherlands organisation (CBS)

An employment contract (arbeidscontract) is an agreement between an employee and an employer, containing working arrangements. In the Netherlands, you can enter into an employment contract for a fixed term (a temporary contract) or for an indefinite period (a permanent contract). It can be agreed in writing or verbally. In the employment contract, you indicate whether a Collective Labour Agreement (CAO) applies.

Limit on renewing fixed-term contracts

If temporary contracts are continually extended, immediately or within 6 months, permanent employment will follow after 2 years or starting with the 4th consecutive contract (chain provision). If included in their CAO, you may give seasonal workers in, for instance, the food and beverage or agricultural sector a new temporary contract after only 3 months.

Written or digital statement of employment particulars

As an employer, you are required to provide your employees with employment particulars either in writing or electronically. If you intend to provide the information electronically, your employee must give his or her express consent for you to do so. You can include the data in your employment contract, but you may also provide the data separately.

The information must include at least:

  • the name and place of residence of the employer and the employee
  • the location(s), at which the work is carried out
  • the employee's job and the nature of the work
  • the usual working hours
  • the amount of the salary and the payment periods
  • date when the employee joined the company
  • term of the contract (if for a definite period of time)
  • (if applicable:) length of the trial period
  • holiday entitlement
  • period of notice
  • (if applicable) pension
  • (if applicable) non-compete or non-solicitation clause
  • applicability of the Collective Labour Agreement (CAO)

Equal treatment and pay

You have to treat and pay your employees equally. Working conditions must be the same for all your employees. Discrimination based on religion, beliefs, political opinions, race, gender, age, disabilities or any other grounds is unlawful.

Proposed changes for employment contracts

On Prinsjesdag 2018 (Budget Day), a raft of proposals were put forward to make it more attractive for employers to offer a fixed contract rather than a flexible one:

  • More opportunities to offer trial periods
  • Cumulative grounds for dismissal is to be added to the list of reasonable grounds for dismissal
  • Fixed and flexible contracts are to be brought in line with one another with regard to transition payments
  • Lower unemployment insurance contributions (WW) for employers who offer employees fixed contracts rather than flexible ones.

At the same time proposals to relax some rules for flexible labour were put forward:

  • More opportunities for workers to return to temporary seasonal work which can only be done for 9 months of the year
  • Extension of the period in which consecutive temporary contracts can be turned into permanent 2 or 3-year contracts

This is subject to these measures being passed in both Houses of Parliament.

Statistics: employment contract

Number of jobs by employment contract.

Questions relating to this article?

Please contact the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO)

+31 (0)88 602 44 44

This information is provided by

Netherlands Enterprise Agency
Statistics Netherlands organisation (CBS)