Rights and duties
Employees temporarily posted to the Netherlands are entitled to the key elements of the Dutch employment conditions. You are obliged to offer this to them.
From the outset, posted agency workers are entitled to additional terms and conditions of employment and are subject to additional obligations for their employers. Read more about it on the ‘terms and conditions of employment for posted agency workers’ page.
The first twelve months
Legal Dutch employment conditions
The main Dutch employment rights to which you are entitled in the first 12 months are:
- the statutory minimum wage;
- rules on working hours and sufficient rest periods;
- safe working conditions;
- a minimum number of paid holiday days;
- equal treatment of men and women.
These employment rights are set out in Dutch labour law. In sectors governed by a universally binding collective agreement, your employees are entitled to the key employment conditions under this collective agreement.
In sectors governed by a universally binding collective agreement, your employees are entitled to the key employment conditions under this collective agreement.
- additional rules on working hours and sufficient rest periods;
- the minimum number of days of paid holiday and additional holiday allowance;
- the remuneration*, consisting of:
- the applicable wage scale per week, per 4 weeks or per month;
- the applicable working time reduction per week/month/year/period;
- allowances for overtime, shifted hours and irregular hours, e.g. public holiday allowance and shift allowance;
- interim pay rise;
- reimbursement of costs incurred: this includes costs that employees incur as these are necessary to do their work, for example travel, board and accommodation costs if not working in their regular place of work in the Netherlands;
- an annual pay rise;
- a year-end bonus;
- rules for making your employees available; such as health, safety and hygiene at work;
- protective measures for pregnant workers or workers who have recently given birth;
- equal treatment of men and women; and
- conditions for accommodation you provide, if employees are not working at their usual place of work in the Netherlands.
*Some elements are not part of the remuneration:
- contributions to occupational pension schemes,
- social insurance provisions over and above the statutory entitlement, and
- allowances paid to reimburse expenses related to the posting, such as travel, board and accommodation costs.
Which collective agreement your employees in the Netherlands are subject to depends on the type of work they do in the Netherlands. Work that is not done in the Netherlands falls outside the scope of the collective agreement.
The website of the Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment provides an overview of all collective agreements. Translations are available of the collective agreements applicable to the sectors in which most postings take place in the Netherlands.
Under the Arbeidstijdverkorting (working-time reduction – atv) or Arbeidsduurverkorting (working-hours reduction – adv) scheme, employees work more hours per week than their contractually agreed number of hours. For example, your contract is for 38 hours a week, but in reality you work 40 hours a week. You then accumulate 2 working-time reduction hours per week. The extra hours worked can be taken as leave at some point in the future. The timing of when this leave can be taken and how to apply for it are agreed in consultation with your employer.
After 12 months
After 12 months (or in some cases 18 months*), you are entitled to an extension of the main employment rights.
- all employment rights laid down by Dutch labour law and universally applicable collective agreements.
An exception to this are:
- additional agreements on occupational pensions and the conclusion and termination of the employment contract.
*If your assignment lasts longer than expected, it can be extended by you once, for 6 months. In that case, after 18 months, your posted employees will be entitled to additional terms and conditions of employment. You must apply for this extension in the notification office.
Important info: Reimbursement of costs incurred
Allowances and supplements your employee receives for expenses incurred whilst performing the work may not be considered part of the wages. Examples include travel, board and accommodation costs. This is therefore in addition to the wage they receive and are entitled to. You must clarify on the payslip which part is wage and which part the expense allowance. That way, it is clear that employees receive the pay they are entitled to by law or under the collective agreement and that the expense allowance is extra. If it is not clear which part of an amount is wage and which part expense allowance, the entire amount will be considered an allowance. Therefore, it does not count towards the wage to which the employee is entitled.
In addition to offering the right terms and conditions of employment, you also have a number of administrative obligations.
- Duty to notify for posted workers.
- You are required to keep certain documents of your employees available at the workplace:
- employment contracts;
- pay slips,
- working hours overview;
- A1 forms;
- and proof of payment of wages.
These documents must be available in writing or electronically. The documents must be available in Dutch, English, German or French.
- These documents must continue to be available for five years after the end of the work; the Dutch Labour Inspectorate may ask for these. If they do, the documents must be submitted to the Labour Inspectorate within four weeks.
- You are obliged to designate a contact person in the Netherlands as point of contact for the Dutch Labour Inspectorate. The contact person must be in the Netherlands and/or available during the posting to provide information about the assignment. For example, you can designate one of your posted employees.
- Obligation to provide information: if requested by the Dutch Labour Inspectorate, you are obliged to provide information the inspectorate needs to check whether workers are offered the terms and conditions of employment to which they are entitled.
Enforcement and monitoring
The Dutch Labour Inspectorate monitors the WagwEU and compliance with Dutch labour laws. In case of non-compliance with the duty to notify or the obligation to provide information, or in the event of non-availability of the documents, the Dutch Labour Inspectorate may impose a fine. Employer and employee representatives monitor compliance with the collective agreement provisions. Find out more about what happens in the case of non-compliance with the WagwEU.