Working the Netherlands

Salaries, working hours and holidays

Salaries, working hours and vacations are different between most countries. Luckily, in the Netherlands there are many protective laws for the employee that cover these areas. Have a look below for here for some general information.

The cost of living in The Netherlands used to be fairly cheap. However, since the introduction of the Euro, prices have gone up dramatically. Today, Dutch people love to talk about is how expensive everything has become and how much they miss the Guilder (the previous Dutch currency).

Salaries

Wages are average compared to the rest of Europe. They are higher than in Spain and Italy, but lower than in England and Germany. The average salary is from €25,000 to €30,000 a year.

Salaries are talked about with either on a monthly or yearly base. Comparisons on an hourly or weekly basis are usually only done for part-time jobs. Salaries are usually paid monthly at the end of the month. Twice a year you will receive an extra payment. Once at Christmas (sometimes as a 13th month), and in summer (June/July) which is considerd as vacation money. However, you have often been automatically paying this vacation money through a monthly countribution out of your salary.

Working hours

According to Dutch law you are allowed to work a maximum of 9 hours a day and 45 hours a week. However, a person is only allowed to work 2080 hours a year, thus the average working week is 40 hours. The working week is usually Monday to Friday, depending on the type of work. Also, there is a legal minimum of one day's rest a week, normally Sunday. Normal hours are 09:00 to 18:00 with two 15 minute breaks and an hour and a half lunch break. Many people don't take breaks, eat their lunch at their desk and then leave at 17:00 instead of at 18:00.

Vacations

You are entitled to a minimum of 20 days a year for holidays. Employers often allow five extra days. Employees receive normal pay during their holidays. Unfortunately there are few national holidays in Holland, so you do not get many extra days. Dutch people however feel they are entitled to sick leave, so many people stay at home for several days a year just because they feel like it.

Further reading

Does this article help?

Do you have any comments, updates or questions on this topic? Ask them here:

Other comments

  • MsTadaa, 16 July 2008 Reply

    Dutch people feel entitled to sick leave

    "Dutch people however feel they are entitled to sick leave, so many people stay at home for several days a year just because they feel like it." Is really a bunch of crap!

    If you are not feeling well or have a flu it is better to stay home then infect your colleagues. The Dutch working culture is all about prevention!

    • Robert 06 Feb 2010, 12:54

      Wrong

      Indeed, reporting in sick while you in fact aren't is regarded extremely anti-social behaviour. It will get you fired if caught or at the very least you'll be the risée of the workplace.

      "According to Dutch law you are allowed to work a maximum of 9 hours a day and 45 hours a week" is also bullocks. There is no maximum of 45hrs a week. It only means, if you work more than that, you should be appropriately compensated. So, in general, people work 36 to 40 hrs a week but in some jobs, especially the ones of interest for expats, you may find yourself working longer hours (and get compensated for it.)

  • pacxxa@gmail.com, 24 January 2013 Reply

    plumbing services Riverside CA

    What is the best professional institute for plumbers, i want to start of my career as plumber!
    plumbing services Riverside CA http://pinterest.com/plumberrivers/followers/