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Employing staff in the Netherlands

This information is provided by:Netherlands Enterprise Agency, RVONetherlands Enterprise Agency,

If you have a business in the Netherlands and want to employ permanent or temporary staff, you can use this checklist to find out which obligations you must fulfil.

This checklist also includes a number of obligations relevant for employing staff from outside the Netherlands. If the information you are looking for is not on this page, please consult the other checklists in this section.

Temporary or permanent?

Most of the regulations concerning hiring staff apply to both permanent and temporary staff. But there are some differences. If you plan on hiring temporary staff through an agency or secondment supplier, take into account the following:

  • Check whether the agency or secondment supplier is listed in the Dutch Business Register: as a hirer, you risk a fine for working with suppliers that are not registered properly. You can check their registration using the KVK (Dutch-language) Waadi check (Workers Allocation By Intermediaries Act, Waadi).
  • Make sure the intermediary has arranged a work permit for your temporary workers from outside the EEA/Switzerland.
  • Avoid liability for taxes owed by your intermediary; the Dutch Tax and Customs Administration may hold you liable for the payroll tax and turnover tax owed by your intermediary. One way of preventing liability for payroll tax and turnover tax is to ask the organisation that hires employees out to you to set up a blocked account (G account).
  • If the temporary worker you hire is foreign, they may still be covered by social insurance in their own country. In that case you do not have to pay social security contributions for this worker. To be certain on this point, you can ask your intermediary to submit an A1/certificate of coverage.

1. Screen your future employees

When you employ workers who will hold integrity-sensitive positions, you may want to screen future employees. This is not only possible when employing regular staff, but also for interim personnel, self-employed professionals, temporary staff, interns and volunteers.

2. Verify and register the identity of your employees

You have to verify the identity of all workers on the basis of an original identity document when they join your company. You must keep a copy of the identity documents in your records.

3. Register as an employer with the Dutch Tax and Customs Administration

If you are employing personnel for the first time, you must register as an employer with the Dutch Tax and Customs Administration. You will then receive the necessary forms to meet your payroll tax obligations.

4. Enter into a contract of employment

In an employment contract, you specify the employee’s salary, indicate whether a Collective Labour Agreement applies, outline working hours and rest times, and indicate whether you arrange an employee pension scheme. There are several types of employment contract, for instance a temporary or a permanent one. You can hire on-call workers with a zero-hours or min-max contract. You can read about the particulars in the employment contract article.

5. Pay at least the Dutch minimum wage and holiday allowance

Everyone working in the Netherlands is entitled to the Dutch minimum wage and a holiday allowance. This also applies to temporary workers, flex workers and foreign personnel.

6. Provide healthy and safe working conditions

As an employer, you must ensure a healthy and safe work place for all your personnel. The Netherlands Labour Authority or your sector organisation can provide you with information about the rules.

Your employees are entitled to a number of days off per year. Also, there are leave schemes in place for pregnancy, maternity and other types of leave.

7. Draw up a risk inventory and evaluation (RI&E)

Once you employ personnel, you are obliged to draw up a risk inventory and evaluation (RI&E) in which you state the risks faced by personnel and the measures you have in place to address these risks.

8. Deduct social insurance premiums

You must deduct social insurance premiums for employees who work permanently in the Netherlands. You can choose to become a self-insurer for the occupational disability insurance scheme.

9. Verify if your employee has taken out health care insurance

Your employee should have taken out a standard Dutch health care insurance policy. If they are not properly insured, the Dutch National Health Care Institute will take out health insurance for them. You will then have to pay back the premiums paid for this insurance by the Institute.

10. Try to find personnel in the EEA first

You are obliged to recruit personnel initially in the European Economic Area (EEA) and/or Switzerland. Only if you prove that you cannot find suitable personnel here will you be permitted to recruit from other countries.

11. Apply for a work permit (if needed) or a combined permit for residence and work

If you employ someone who is not from the EEA or Switzerland for less than 3 months, you must apply usually for a work permit from the Employee Insurance Agency (UWV). If you employ someone for 3 months or longer you must usually apply for a combined permit for residence and work: the Single Permit.

12. Organise suitable accommodation when employing foreign staff

You are obliged to find suitable accommodation for employees who need a work permit. You must observe the relevant rules applicable in your municipality.

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