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If you have a company that is based in the Netherlands and you are looking for personnel, you are obliged to recruit first of all within the Netherlands, the rest of the EU, the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland. You must first prove you cannot find any suitable employee here, before being allowed to recruit in other countries.
Employees from outside the EU and the EEA usually require a work permit (tewerkstellingsvergunning, TWV) or a combined residence and work permit, known as a 'single permit' (Gecombineerde vergunning voor verblijf en arbeid, GVVA). Employees from other EU countries, or from EEA countries or Switzerland do not need a permit.
Acknowledgement as sponsor
If you bring employees from outside the EU, the EEA and Switzerland to the Netherlands for longer than 3 months, you can have yourself recognised as sponsor. For bringing highly skilled migrants or scientific researchers into the country, this acknowledgement is mandatory, unless they apply for European blue card. If it concerns employees for regular paid work or seasonal employment, acknowledgement is voluntary.
Comparing foreign applicants
If you wish to compare foreign applicants, you could decide to make use of Europass. Europass is a European Commission initiative for improving international mobility with regard to working and studying. It is available in all European languages.
Terms of employment
The terms of employment for foreign employees that work for a European company in the Netherlands are laid down in the Terms of Employment Posted Workers in the EU Act (Wet arbeidsvoorwaarden gedetacheerde werknemers, WagwEU)
Hiring foreign personnel through an intermediary
If you hire personnel from outside the EU and the EEA via an intermediary (e.g. temporary employment agency, contracting firm or subcontractor), you are responsible for ensuring that they have a work permit. The intermediary must request this permit.
Duty to report posted workers
As of 1 March 2020 the duty to notify posted workers is in place. This applies to employers from the EU, Iceland, Lichtenstein, Norway or Switzerland such as multinational companies that post workers to their Dutch branch, employment agencies that post workers to the Netherlands and self-employed professionals in certain sectors who will be working temporarily in the Netherlands.
Proof of identity and citizen service number for foreign employees
When you hire foreign employees or employ them through a contractor or subcontractor, you have to check their identity. You must also ensure that your records include a photocopy of their proof of identity, which you must keep for 5 years after the person stops working for you. Foreign employees who are required to pay tax in the Netherlands must have a citizen service number (burgerservicenummer, BSN).
Establishing identity on request
If the Inspectorate SZW (Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment) asks you to establish the identity of one of your employees, you must send them a copy of their identity document within 48 hours.
Language requirement for hazardous tasks
Is a foreign employee working for you on a hazardous task, such as the removal of asbestos or the operation of a crane? In order to ensure that work is carried out safely and accidents are prevented, that person must have an adequate command of the Dutch language. This also applies to temporary foreign employees who conduct hazardous tasks.
Self-employed professionals and freelancers
If you work with self-employed professionals or freelancers from abroad, you must check whether they are permitted to live in the Netherlands and be self-employed. This is stated in their residence permit or passport. You will usually need a work permit for self-employed professionals from outside the EU and the EEA.
Residency rights of British citizens after Brexit
If you are a British citizen or you employ British citizens, British residency rights will change as the United Kingdom leaves the European Union. However, during the transition period which lasts at least until 31 December 2020, British citizens can continue to live, work and study in the Netherlands. For the latest information check the Immigration and Naturalisation Service Brexit page.
Upcoming changes in law
Foreign personnel on temporary postings abroad will receive more rights (pdf, in Dutch) around housing and additional payouts. Posted workers from EU member states will be entitled to the same benefits as local employees if they work for 12 months or longer in another EU member state (except for dismissal protection and additional company pensions). In some cases this period can be extended to 18 months. This law is expected to come into force from 30 July 2020.