If it’s the first time you have taken on an employee, you must register as an employer with the Dutch Tax and Customs Administration and notify the Netherlands Chamber of Commerce (Kamer van Koophandel, KvK). As an employer you also set terms of employment and put them in writing in an employment contract or in the Collective Labour Agreement (CAO).
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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 Dutch Tax and Customs Administration and with the Netherlands Chamber of Commerce. Here’s what to do:
- Register as an employer with the Dutch Tax and Customs Administration. You will receive a payroll tax number. You need this in order to deduct payroll taxes from your employee’s salary and file a return.
- Use the change form to inform the Netherlands Chamber of Commerce that you are employing staff. You must always notify KVK of any changes in your staffing.
Are you a sole trader?
As a sole trader, you can employ staff. You do not have to change your legal form.
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.
Establish 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 be contrary to the law or the CAO. The most common employment conditions are:
- Salary and payslip
- Salary deductions and adjustments
- Business hours and working hours
- Holiday leave and public holidays
- Holiday pay
Working without a contract
If you have an employee working for you with no written contract, you automatically have a verbal employment contract. Furthermore, a month after your employee started working for you, you are required by law to document a number of things. Bear in mind that some agreements are only valid in written form. For this reason, most employers prefer to have a written contract.
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. Wages are revised every 6 months, on 1 January and 1 July.
Revise your payroll accounting
Make sure you put all the administration required into your payroll accounting 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 a specimen from the Dutch Tax and Customs Administration website. If you design your own pay slip, it must show the same data as the specimen.
Get to know each other during a trial period
You can agree on a trial period with your employee if the term of the contract of employment is 6 months or longer. A trial period is not mandatory. During this period, either you or your employee is entitled to terminate the employment with immediate effect. A trail period is only valid if you establish it in writing. The trial period lasts no longer than 1 month in contracts with a fixed term of up to 2 years or in contracts which run for an indefinite term. The maximum trial period in a permanent contract, or a contract with a fixed term of more than 2 years, is 2 months. No trial period applies for a contract with a term of less than 6 months.
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.