Trial period

Published by:
Netherlands Enterprise Agency, RVO
Netherlands Enterprise Agency, RVO

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.

Dismissal without grounds

As an employer, you may dismiss employees during their trial period without grounds, even if the employee is ill. Nevertheless, you must observe prohibitions on terminating a contract. The employee is also allowed to resign without grounds. If you or your employee asks for the grounds for the dismissal or resignation, then there is an obligation to provide written grounds.

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.

Questions relating to this article?

Please contact the Netherlands Enterprise Agency, RVO