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Foreign personnel

This information is provided by: Netherlands Enterprise Agency

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 European Economic AreaExternal link (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 EEA and from Croatia usually require a work permit (tewerkstellingsvergunning, TWV) or a combined permit for staying and working, a so-called 'single permit' (Gecombineerde vergunning voor verblijf en arbeid, GVVA). Employees from EEA countries and Switzerland do not need a permit.

Acknowledgement as sponsor

If you bring employees from outside the EEA or Switzerland to the Netherlands for longer than 3 months, you can have yourself recognised as sponsorExternal link. For bringing highly skilled migrants or scientific researchers this acknowledgement is mandatory. If it concernes 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 EuropassExternal link. 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 ActExternal link (Wet arbeidsvoorwaarden gedetacheerde werknemers, WagwEU)

Hiring foreign personnel through an intermediary

If you hire personnel from Croatia or from outside 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

Large foreign companies have a duty to report, among others, the number of temporarily posted workers, the duration of their stay and their earnings.

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 the 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) requests from you to establish one of your employees' identity, you must send them a copy of their identity document within 48 hours.

Language requirement within hazardous tasks

Is a foreign employee working for you on a hazardous task, such as the removal of asbestos or 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. As of 1 July 2013, this requirement also applies to temporary foreign employees who conduct hazardous tasks for you.

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 EEA.

This information is provided by:

Netherlands Enterprise Agency

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