Employing your first staff

Published by:
Netherlands Chamber of Commerce, KVK
Netherlands Chamber of Commerce, KVK
Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment, SZW
Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment, SZW
Netherlands Tax Administration, Belastingdienst
Netherlands Tax Administration, Belastingdienst

You are hiring an employee for the first time. How does that work? Use this checklist to find out what your obligations are.

Hiring staff

Your business is growing and you have more work than you can handle. Hiring staff is a big step, but it also gives you the opportunity to grow. If you take on employees, you will have to deal with rules and risks. Read which labour market rules apply. And watch the animation below to find out most important steps if you are taking on staff for the first time.

Register as an employer

If you are going to take on an employee for the first time, you must register as an employer with the Netherlands Tax Administration and with the Netherlands Chamber of Commerce KVK:

  • Register as an employer with the Tax Administration. You will receive a payroll tax number. You need this in order to deduct payroll tax from your employee’s salary and file a return.
  • Use the change form 14 to inform the Netherlands Chamber of Commerce KVK that you are employing staff. You must always notify KVK of any changes in your staffing.

Check your employee’s identity

You are required to check your employee’s identity before they start working for you. Keep a legible copy of the current identity document in your payroll records. The copy must include all the particulars shown on the original. If you copy a passport or identity card, make sure the citizen service number (Burgerservicenummer, BSN) is clear.

Agree on the terms of employment in writing

Verbal agreements on terms of employment are valid. However, it is better to put your agreements in writing. You do this in an employment contract. Conditions of employment are often already established in a CAO. It is possible to make additional agreements about conditions. These cannot go against the law or the conditions in the CAO. The most common employment conditions are:

You must provide your employee with clear information on the most important labour conditions. This information should make the labour more transparent and predictable in advance.

Comply with the statutory minimum wage

You must pay your employee at least the statutory minimum wage or the youth minimum wage. The minimum wage applies to employees aged 21 and over. The youth minimum wage applies to employees between the ages of 15 and 21. Minimum wages are revised every 6 months, on 1 January and 1 July.

Update your records

Make sure you put all the administration required into your payroll records before your employee starts working for you. This applies primarily to pay and social security data, a copy of the employee’s identity document, and pay slip. Before compiling a pay slip, you can download the 2021 model (in Dutch) from the Tax Administration website. If you design your own pay slip, it must show the same data as the specimen.

Arrange pensions for your staff

You are obliged to offer your employee a pension scheme if a sector pension fund exists for your sector. If no sector pension fund exists, you can choose to offer your employees a pension scheme. Consult an independent adviser. (scroll down to Check de onderneming waarmee u zaken wilt doen and search for pensioenadviseur).

Hiring staff checklist

See what's involved in hiring staff.

As your business gets busier, you may start looking for staff. But when is that convenient, and do you opt for temporary staff or permanent employment? See if it pays to hire staff.

Appropriate salary

For many employees, salary is the most important employment condition. Make sure your salary is appropriate and meets the legal requirements.

Good terms of employment

If you hire staff, you will have to deal with primary terms of employment. Read which rules you need to comply with. In addition, you can offer secondary terms of employment, such as a learning and development budget, or flexible working hours. This has advantages, for example, a higher commitment of your employee.

Agreeing a trial period

You can agree a trial period with your new employee for up to 2 months.

Personnel screening

You want to choose reliable staff. With employee screening, you can limit the risks.

Offer a pension scheme

In some business sectors, it is mandatory to offer employees a pension. Read more about pension schemes.

Collective labour agreement (CAO)

If you take on staff, chances are that, as an employer, you will have to comply with a collective labour agreement (CAO).

Register as an employer

Register as an employer with the Netherlands Tax Administration. And report to KVK (in Dutch) that you are taking on staff.

Offer a pension

Offer a pension scheme to your employees if it is compulsory. You can also do this if it is not compulsory.

Employee insurance

As an employer, you pay your own employee insurance contributions to the Tax Administration. Read chapter 7 of the Payroll Taxes Handbook (Handboek loonheffingen, in Dutch) to find out what these premiums are. The Employee Insurance Agency (Uitvoeringsinstituut Werknemersverzekeringen, UWV) takes care of the benefits for the employee.

Draw up an employment contract

The employment contract sets out the rights and obligations of the employee and the employer. Read more about the different employment contracts (in Dutch) on KVK.nl.

Include a non-compete clause

A non-compete clause protects your business if your employee leaves.

Occupational health and safety services

As an employer, you must be supported by an occupational health and safety expert. For example, a company doctor or occupational health and safety service (arbodienst).

Working conditions

Your staff are entitled to a healthy and safe workplace. This is stated in the Working Conditions Act (Working Conditions Act, or Arbowet).

Working conditions when working from home

The Working Conditions Act also applies when (your employees are) working from home. More relaxed working conditions rules apply to working from home.

Special employee data

Take extra measures to protect your staff's personal data.

Payroll taxes

You must deduct payroll taxes from the salary. You must pay these payroll taxes to the Netherlands Tax Administration.

Salary and payslip

There are rules for the payment of salary. And what you may or may not include in the salary. With the payslip, you inform your employee on how the salary is structured.

Holiday pay

Your employee is legally entitled to at least 8% holiday allowance.

Appointing prevention officers

As a business owner with employees, you must appoint at least one health and safety officer (preventiemedewerker). A health and safety officer deals with day-to-day health and safety within a business.

Emergency response worker

You must ensure a safe (working) environment for your staff and visitors. An in-house emergency response worker (bedrijfshulpverlener, bhv’er) helps you do this.

Draw up a risk inventory & evaluation (RI&E)

You are obliged to ensure that your employees can work safely and healthily. To this end, you must carry out a risk inventory and evaluation (RI&E).

Questions relating to this article?

Please contact the Netherlands Chamber of Commerce, KVK