Topic 1 Introduction to the Dutch labour market, employment contracts and rights

In the Netherlands, the number of successive fixed-term employment contracts is limited to three, but may not exceed a limit of two years for the total duration of fixed-term contracts. Although there are different types of employment contracts for employees, the most common are temporary and permanent contracts. An employment contract (arbeidscontract) is an agreement between an employee and an employer. It consists of an agreement between employers and employees that constitutes the conditions of employment (arbeidsvoorwaarden).

Temporary contracts are for a fixed period, such as six months or one year, with a fixed end date. The termination procedure will not be necessary to terminate the temporary contract at the end of its validity. It is common for Dutch employers to offer a second temporary contract upon expiry of the first, but this is not guaranteed.

From 1 January 2020, temporary contracts were automatically converted into permanent contracts if the employee receives more than 3 consecutive successful temporary contracts or if the employee has several temporary contracts with his employer for more than 3 years, unless otherwise stated in the collective labour agreement.

This is an open contract for a long time. Such contracts can only be terminated when the employee resigns (for example, if the employee find another job in the Netherlands or abroad) or if the employer has a reason to withdraw from the contract (strict comply to the legal rules will follow).

This is a less common type of employment contract is an employment contract. This contract agreement gives the employment agency the legal right to be your employer and payer, even if you work for a third party. It should be noted that dismissal protection for such contracts is limited.

An hourly contract can be a temporary or permanent contract. In a zero hours contract, the employee does not have fixed working hours. This allows flexible applications where the employee can register randomly.

Employees on part-time contracts have the same rights as full-time employees, including sick leave and vacation pay. From 1 January 2015, zero-hour contracts are not allowed to be extended indefinitely.

These workers are not officially in service (loondienst) with their employers, but they need to write and sign a contract with the client that defines their employment relationship.

The Dutch standard working week is 38 hours, but some companies have 40 hours working week. Most full-time jobs (voltijd) in the Netherlands are between 36-40 hours a week, or 7 to 8 hours a day for the 5 days of the week.

Employees are considered a part time (deeltijd) workers if their hours is less than 36 a week but more than 12.

The employment Labor relations in the Netherlands are governed by laws and regulations such as the Dutch Civil Code and other statues.

The Dutch labour law regulates the legal relationship between employees and employers. Therefore, it only applies to employees who have signed an employment contract.

The impelling principle of Dutch labor law is the protection of workers. For example, in case of illness. In such cases, the employer has the right to continue to pay up to 70% of the last salary paid, in principle, up to maximum of 2 years and other mandatory employment terms and conditions are listed as:

  1. Minimum wages (from 21+ – 1,725 Gross/Month);
  2. Maximum working hours per week and day – 60/week, 12/day;
  3. Pregnancy and maternity leave – up to 16 weeks;
  4. Sick leave;
  1. Notice of termination – One month in the first 5 years of the job contract
  2. Salary
  3. Holidays – paid holiday right
  4. Safety at the workplace