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Trial period

This information is provided by: Netherlands Enterprise Agency

If you want to employ someone in the Netherlands, you can agree on including a trial period in their employment contract. During this period both parties can then terminate the contract without having to give a proper reason. However, if the employment contract is only for 6 months or less, a trial period provision is not valid. The same applies to contracts that are extended without any changes.

Written trial period

A trial period is only valid when it is agreed in writing as part of the employment contract, unless trial periods are part of the Collective Labour Agreement (CAO) for your sector.

Trial period void

In some cases trial periods are null and void:

  • In contracts for 6 months or less.
  • When a contract is extended without any changes to the type of work or responsibilities of the employee.
  • When temporary employment changes into permanent employment, again without any changes.
  • When the trial period is not agreed to in writing

Duration trial period

The duration of a trial period depends on the duration of the employment contract. However, it may never exceed a 2 month period. The same period applies to both employer and employee.

Maximum of 1 month

  • temporary employment contracts of more than 6 months, but less than 2 years.
  • temporary employment contracts without end date.

Maximum of 2 months

  • Permanent employment contracts .
  • Temporary employment contracts of more than 2 years.

Transitional regulations CAO's

For CAO’s that started or were extended after 1 January 2015

If the CAO for your sector started or was extended after 1 January 2015, it may include the possibility of extending a trial period from 1 to maximum 2 months. However, this is only allowed for employment contracts of more than 6 months, but less than 2 years.

For CAO’s that existed before 1 January 2015

CAO’s that existed before 1 January 2015 may include the possibility of extending a trial period from 1 to maximum 2 months in every employment contract of less than 2 years, even for contracts of less than 6 months. However, this possibility ceased to exist on 1 July 2016.

This information is provided by:

Netherlands Enterprise Agency

Any further questions?

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