On this page
In the Netherlands employers must pay their employees at least the statutory (youth) minimum wage and the statutory minimum holiday allowance. The minimum wage consists of a basic wage and various allowances, such as for shift work and irregular working hours. Until 1 July 2017 it applied to all employees of 23 years of age and over. Since that date the age for regular minimum wage has dropped to 22 years and will eventually become 21 years. Those people with a right to at least (youth) minimum wage are as follows:
- regular and temporary staff
- on-call employees
- temporary agency workers
- foreign personnel
- staff hired through (sub)contracting
Foreign companies and foreign workers
If you run a business outside the Netherlands and intend to post employees to the Netherlands on a temporary basis, you are also obliged to pay them at least the minimum wage. If you are based in the Netherlands and hire foreign employees or have foreign employees work for you via a contractor or subcontractor, you are responsible for ensuring that they are paid at least the minimum wage.
Youth minimum wage
The youth minimum wage applies to all employees between 15 and 23 years old. There is no statutory rate for 13 and 14 year olds, which means employers and employees can set the rate among themselves.
Payment by bank
The statutory minimum wage must always be paid by bank transfer. If you fail to do so, you may be imposed a fine. If your employee is being paid more than the statutory minimum wage, a bank transfer is not mandatory for the excess. This also applies the the holiday allowance, which you may pay in cash or with vouchers.
No settling with or withholding minimum wage
Employers are not allowed to settle with or withhold from the statutory minimum wage any costs for meals, housing, insurance premiums or traffic fines. Employees must pay these costs themselves. However, if you pay your employee more than minimum wage, you may settle with or withhold from this surplus. The same applies to the annual holiday payment. In all cases, your employee must at least receive the minimum wage.
Minimum wage director/majority shareholders
Director/majority shareholders of innovative startups that invest in R&D and are considered starting entrepreneurs with regard to the R&D relief, may only receive the statutory minimum wage for the first 3 years. They can apply the R&D relief scheme without prior consent from the Dutch Tax and Customs Administration.
Updating the rates
The statutory minimum wage rate is updated every six months, on 1 January and 1 July of any given year. This means every employer must adjust their prevailing wages.