There are many different ways of finding work in the Netherlands. However, more than 60 % of all vacancies are filled informally. Having a good network therefore improves your chance of finding a job in the Netherlands. Channels commonly used to find work include:
UWV (public employment service of the Employee Insurance Agency) supports and assists jobseekers in their search for work. Registration with UWV is not compulsory.
Employment agencies, recruitment and selection agencies and secondment agencies:
There are many specialised employment agencies in the Netherlands. There are also recruitment and selection agencies, including headhunters. It is normal for these agencies to start by submitting candidates to a psychological test or having them take an assessment. As well as temping work, working on a secondment basis is also increasingly common. Among other things, employment agencies use this method to keep IT and other specialists in particular under contract.
You are advised to consult the Dutch newspapers for vacancies. The Saturday editions of national newspapers contain the most vacancies.
- NRC Handelsblad: managerial positions.
- De Volkskrant: public sector, academia/medical professions. (www.volkskrant.nl)
- De Telegraaf and the Algemeen Dagblad: commercial vacancies.(www.telegraaf.nl – www.ad.nl)
- The main regional newspapers.
Online applications on companies’ websites and the use of CV databases, such as those of EURES and UWV, are the norm. Employers use CV databases to recruit candidates. If you can understand Dutch, you can use www.werk.nl, the UWV website.
Job fairs, particularly speed dates, are becoming increasingly popular. They are organised by, among others:
- employment agencies
- colleges and universities
- European Online Job Day (online EURES recruitment activities in Europe).
Keep an eye on the websites of these and other organisations for dates and locations.
UWV (Uitvoeringsinstituut Werknemersverzekeringen, Employee Insurance Agency): vacancies, CVs and events
EURES The Netherlands
European Job Days portal
Seasonal vacancies in agriculture and horticulture
EURES the Netherlands members & partners
Vacaturebank (job vacancy department)
The Netherlands has its own (unwritten) rules concerning job applications. You will find information below that may be useful when you apply for work.
With regard to the job application procedure, it can be said that:
- this differs according to the type of work you are looking for;
- in the case of agricultural and low-skilled staff, employers usually appreciate a personal visit;
- applications from abroad are generally made in writing;
- for jobs at a qualified and highly qualified level, an application letter with a CV is the standard procedure;
- it is not uncommon to phone a company beforehand; however, make sure you have first prepared a number of clear questions;
- Dutch employers usually reply fairly quickly; if after 14 days you have still heard nothing, you should not hesitate to contact the company by phone.
Social media are particularly useful for keeping an eye on interesting companies and staying up to date with the latest vacancies. (Please note: when it comes to applying for a job, social media can make or break you, as employers also use social media to find out more about you.)
Application letters are more appreciated if:
- they are in Dutch (unless indicated otherwise);
- they are typed on one sheet of A4;
- they are short and concise, but also to the point and professional.
As regards the structure of your letter:
- you should first explain why you are applying for the job concerned;
- you should then indicate why you believe you are a suitable candidate and why you are motivated to do the job; motivation is one of the most important selection criteria for Dutch employers.
- finally, you should say you would be pleased to attend an interview to explain your application in person.
The Curriculum Vitae (CV):
- should be to the point and professional;
- should normally contain a maximum of two pages (A4 format);
- should only contain the appropriate information; be as specific as possible;
- should normally be adapted to the position under consideration.
The order in a CV should be:
- personal details;
- education (including relevant courses, exact start date and end date, and whether you have a degree; start with your most recent education);
- work experience (including exact start date and end date); start with your most recent job; mention the name of the employer and the tasks carried out;
- hobbies and voluntary work.
References and copies of certificates need not be attached. These can be taken with you to the interview.
Résumés are becoming increasingly common, especially for people with considerable work experience. They are also often used for unsolicited applications to headhunters. The most common features of a résumé are that they:
- are shorter and more descriptive;
- begin with a description of the type of job you are looking for;
- are slightly more subjective, as some items can be given more or less emphasis;
- do not contain exact dates; you should mention only those figures that underline your suitability.
You may choose the layout of a résumé, whether it be historical, analytical, chronological, functional or creative.
Application form: application forms are mainly used by large-scale employers and for online applications.
The Europass CV
The Europass CV is not yet widely known and/or well established amongst employers in the Netherlands. For the time being, use of the standard CV that is customary in the Netherlands is recommended, especially for unsolicited job applications. An example of a Dutch CV can be found at www.werk.nl
With regard to job interviews in the Netherlands:
- The emphasis is on your motivation; why have you chosen this job with this company?
- It is appreciated if you can name some of your positive – and less positive – skills/qualities; explain these with examples.
- You will usually be interviewed by one or two people; several interviews (two to three) are common.
- at the end of the interview you will generally be given the opportunity to ask questions; think about this beforehand.
- Where appropriate, job interviews may be held via Skype.
Unsolicited job applications:
Unsolicited (‘on-spec’) job applications are very common in the Netherlands. It is not unusual to phone the company beforehand, for both unsolicited and targeted applications. However, make sure you have first prepared a number of clear questions. There are several channels for obtaining information about companies:
- the Chambers of Commerce (Kamers van Koophandel, KvK);
- your own country’s embassy or consulate;
- the company’s own website.
Guides on applying for jobs in the Netherlands:
‘Klaar om de stap te wagen?’ (Ready to take the plunge?), available from the nearest EURES adviser in your country.
Kamer van Koophandel (KvK) (Chamber of Commerce)
There is no formal definition of ʻtraineeshipʼ in the Netherlands. There are many different types of traineeship. A traineeship is often part of a specific programme set up by the government or an organisation/a large organisation, For example, to give talented young people better access to the labour market. Sometimes, traineeships are designed to give employees the opportunity to take up another position in their organisation (e.g. management trainees).
Traineeships are offered through a trainee programme or individual vacancies. The following are characteristic of a traineeship:
- a traineeship is a paid, productive position that forms part of the workforce, with a focus on learning on the job;
- a traineeship is usually focused on career development, and trainees are generally employees who have already completed university education or vocational training;
- a traineeship has specific learning objectives linked to a time frame, usually a period of 1-3 years.
Because of its focus on career development, a traineeship is a combination of learning and working. The trainee is employed by the company. There are many different kinds of traineeships. A traineeship can be specifically designed to help employees further develop their skills and knowledge, for example for management positions. Workplace learning can also be tailored to attract young talent.
A place as a trainee can be obtained by applying for a vacancy or through an internal application procedure. Each type of traineeship has its own requirements, the main features of which are that there is supervision, that a fixed period is involved and that learning objectives are set.
Sometimes, the ultimate goal of a traineeship is for the trainee to continue to be employed by the organisation. In other cases, the objective is for the trainee to build up a professional network and gain experience that will enable them to find a job elsewhere.
The route into a traineeship will depend on where the employee is in their career and the type of traineeship offered. Many larger organisations offer traineeship positions.
A graduate employee can apply for a traineeship in his or her own organisation. A job seeker/career changer can apply for an entry-level/trainee position advertised by an organisation. Such a person usually has to go through a selection procedure.
The rules that apply to all other jobs also apply to traineeships. EEA and Swiss nationals can apply for traineeships.
Traineeships are becoming increasingly popular in the Netherlands. They offer graduates the opportunity to take the first steps in their career or to develop it further. At the same time, graduate or entry-level positions allow employers to attract and train young professionals for specialist positions within the organisation.
Because traineeships are paid positions that are part of an organisation’s workforce, all normal rules that apply to regular jobs also apply to traineeships. A trainee works on the basis of an employment contract that meets all legal requirements related to employment. A traineeship consists of a programme centred on working and learning, and is tied to a specific period.
A contract may contain clauses or other passages (for example with regard to training costs). In case of doubt, it is important to have the contract checked by an employment lawyer.
Living and working conditions
Many larger organisations offer traineeships within their regular range of job opportunities. The conditions and support for trainees vary from organisation to organisation. Some key points for those interested in a traineeship are listed below.
Because a traineeship involves a training programme, employers often charge a fee if a person leaves the company during the training period or shortly afterwards. You are advised to be well aware of any costs you might incur if you wanted to leave the company.
Quality of traineeships
Not all traineeships on offer are of high quality. This also depends on the personal expectations of the jobseeker or career changer. Some characteristics of a good traineeship are listed below:
- the position offers clear career prospects;
- it is a paid position that is part of the workforce;
- a structured training programme is offered;
- the trainee is given coaching.
Looking for opportunities
Traineeships can be found through the following channels:
- most larger organisations offer traineeships; trainee vacancies can usually be found on their websites;
- some traineeships are advertised on commercial websites such as: www.traineeshipsoverzicht.nl or www.traineeshipplaza.nl.
- they are also offered through www.werk.nl, the website of the Dutch public employment service.
Important matters that trainees arrange themselves:
- Registering with a Dutch local authority
- Translating official documents from another country (such as a marriage certificate). These are required for registering with the local authority
- Insurance for the period of training
- BSN (citizen service number) (after registering with the local authority): a trainee needs to have a BSN to receive a salary or remuneration.
- Health insurance: if the salary exceeds the minimum wage, the trainee must take out their own health insurance.
- Remuneration from Targeted Mobility Schemes (TMS) or the ʻStarterbeursʼ (starter grant) scheme of grants for new entrants
A trainee from the EEA or Switzerland does not need a residence permit to study. A useful information page for trainees from other EEA countries is ʻStudy in Hollandʼ
Funding and support
A traineeship is work with learning and development opportunities. Traineeships are therefore covered by the provisions of labour law. They involve an employment contract and remuneration. See also the government information on labour law
Larger organisations have their own traineeship programmes and their own particular selection procedures, requirements and ways of supporting trainees. To avoid surprises, it is therefore advisable to look carefully at the opportunities on offer. If there is something you are not sure about, the trade union may be able to help. There is a special service point for young people: www.fnvjong.nl
Nuffic/Careers in Holland
EURES Targeted Mobility Scheme (TMS)
For financial support, including for trainees, see the following link: EURES portal > EURES Targeted Mobility Scheme (TMS)
Funding and support
Government information on employment regulations: http://www.government.nl/issues/new-in-the-netherlands
For more information on relocation expenses and other support, see EURES portal > EURES Targeted Mobility Scheme (TMS)
Traineeships (also called apprenticeships) are part of the education system in the Netherlands and are often a compulsory element of vocational training. The nature, duration and quantity of traineeships that a person passes through for their training depend on the type and level of the student's training. Trainees are often given an allowance, although this is not obligatory.
Apprenticeships can also take place outside the education system, for example when a worker wants to change job or industry. Sometimes reintegration is involved. In this case, a worker is guided in their work, sometimes in a new position or in a new workplace. Usually it is the employer or local authority that provides and pays for such courses.
The most important criterion for a traineeship is that learning objectives play a central role in workplace activities. In other words, the trainee is not part of the regular staff.
Description of schemes
There are several levels of higher education in the Netherlands. Each level involves traineeships in the form of practical learning or learning on the job in the context of school education. An overview of the different types of traineeship is given below.
Intermediate vocational education (MBO)
Education in the school-based pathway (Beroepsopleidende Leerweg or BOL) provides apprenticeships via the school. While following the course of his or her choice, the student completes several traineeships – mostly mandatory and often with remuneration.
The work-based pathway (Beroepsbegeleidende Leerweg or BBL) offers practical training alternating with theory at school. The student identifies a work placement company and works there every day, except for one theory day per week at school. They then earn a salary.
Higher vocational education and academic education (HBO and WO)
‘Dual education’ is a work-based learning programme for higher education. The student has theory lesson days at school and earns a salary.
There are also many programmes in higher vocational education (HBO) that include an obligatory traineeship, often with remuneration.
Universities (WO) too sometimes offer traineeships as part of their Bachelor’s and Master’s programmes. These are often non-compulsory traineeships for which the student may receive remuneration.
Traineeships or apprenticeships outside the education system
Traineeships can occasionally take place outside the education system. For this type of traineeship, the same rule applies as for traineeships in the context of a course: learning goals are central to the trainee’s workplace activities, which means that they must be supervised. In other words, the trainee is not part of the regular staff. Trainees are often given an allowance, although this is not obligatory.
Who is eligible?
Nationals of countries in the European Economic Area (EEA) may study and work in other EEA countries. For non-EEA nationals or for people moving to a non-EEA country, different rules apply.
As apprenticeships are usually linked to the Dutch education system, certain diploma requirements apply. If you need your diploma to be evaluated, please consult the IDW (internationale diplomawaardering, international credential evaluation) website for further information about the procedure: Some programmes also require the student to sit a specific exam or practical test. These are national requirements that can be requested from the relevant university or educational institution.
Many schools and universities also have other admission requirements, such as a questionnaire to be answered, an interview or a ‘trial study day’. This depends on the course or school you have chosen.
Finally, there are also language requirements for foreign nationals who want to study within the Dutch education system.
- If you want to follow an intermediate vocational education course (MBO), you will need a good command of Dutch.
- In higher vocational education (HBO) and academic education (WO), the student must have a command of Dutch or English, depending on the course of study chosen.
For more information about admission requirements in the Dutch education system, please visit:
The Dutch employment service has set up an apprenticeship desk for those who have difficulty choosing or need guidance in finding a suitable apprenticeship. Link:
Quality requirements for a traineeship or apprenticeship
The central objective is learning. In other words, the focus of workplace activities is not on making a profit or on work-related goals.
- A training plan is agreed, with clear goals and evaluation points.
- A traineeship is an auxiliary position with supervision on the basis of a formal agreement.
Requirements for employers with regard to traineeships/apprenticeships
The legal requirements for traineeships in intermediate vocational education (BBL and BOL) are drawn up by the national expertise centre for education, the Foundation for Cooperation on Vocational Education, Training and Labour Market (SBB):
- A company may only provide training within the framework of BOL or BBL if it has the appropriate accreditation.
- The company’s activities must be in line with the content of the course.
- The company shall ensure that the students are well supervised.
- The educational institution shall maintain contact with the company offering the traineeships.
- Other sector-specific requirements.
Higher education traineeships (‘dual learning pathway’, hbo and wo) are designed in such a way that theory and practice alternate. More information on the requirements for employers can be found through the following links: legal framework (Dutch) and Nuffic (expertise centre for hbo and wo, information in Dutch and English).
The Dutch Education Inspectorate ensures that educational institutions and employers meet these requirements. Link: http://www.onderwijsinspectie.nl (in Dutch and English)
Occasionally apprenticeships are offered outside the education system. This means that they involve learning through working but have no qualification linked to them. It is important to have a good look at the learning objectives, the career prospects and whether the activities do not fall under regular work at the place of work. In case of doubt, it is a good idea to have an employment lawyer look over the contract.
Living and working conditions
Remuneration or salary?
For an apprenticeship/traineeship as part of a school course, students usually receive remuneration of between EUR 250 and EUR 350 per month. However, companies are not obliged to give this remuneration.
Students who do an apprenticeship receive a salary. That salary is based on the minimum wage and is laid down by sector in the collective labour agreement (collectieve arbeidsovereenkomst, CAO).
In addition, some universities/colleges or employers offer facilities or other support to foreign students, for example in the area of accommodation.
For recent graduates who want to continue learning through work, the ʻstarter grantʼ for career entrants may be a solution. This form of grant enables a recent graduate (at MBO, HBO or WO level) aged 18 to 27 to start in an entry-level position and, on the basis of a 32-hour week, gain 6 months’ work experience to increase their chances on the labour market. This is how it works: a career entrant can create their own job by independently finding an employer who has work to offer, or can apply for an entry-level position on the website www.startersbeurs.nu. The ʻstarter grantʼ is applied for in the local authority where the jobseeker is registered, which is sometimes not the local authority where the employer is located. Every month, the new entrant receives a payment of EUR 700 from the local authority.
A student from an EEA country or Switzerland does not need a residence permit to work or study in the Netherlands.
Important matters that trainees arrange themselves
- Registering with the local authority
- BSN (citizen service number)
- Translation and accreditation of documents
- Both foreign diplomas (required for training) and documents such as marriage certificates (required for registering with a local authority).
- Insurance on an apprenticeship/traineeship
- Students are insured by the educational institution. For a traineeship that takes place outside the education system, insurance for the trainee must be arranged separately by the employer.
- A trainee must arrange his or her own health insurance. More information on this (in Dutch and English) can be found on this link and on the Nuffic website (www.nuffic.nl).
- Students may work while studying. Students who are nationals of countries other than EEA countries or Switzerland need a residence permit for this.
- Employers determine traineesʼ pay. It is not compulsory to pay trainees. For support in this case, funding can be requested from the Targeted Mobility Schemes (TMS).
- A plan for the traineeship is drawn up in consultation with the employer under the supervision of the training institution/school. This plan describes the learning objectives and the duration of the traineeship/apprenticeship.
Difference between paid work (such as a paid traineeship) and an apprenticeship or traineeship:
From a legal point of view, workplace activities are considered regular work if they are focused on production (rather than having a learning objective, as in the case of traineeships). In that case, the minimum wage and regular contracts apply. For information on the minimum wage, please see the following link (in English): www.government.nl > search minimum wage
Looking for opportunities
Information and apprenticeship/traineeship opportunities, for all types of traineeships:
Apprenticeship opportunities in intermediate vocational education (MBO):
- Traineeship fair (traineeship opportunities): www.stagemarkt.nl (in Dutch)
- SBB (information): http://www.s-bb.nl/ (in Dutch and English)
Traineeships at Bachelor’s and Master’s level (HBO and WO)
- EP-Nuffic Information and ‘Grantfinder’ (in Dutch and English): www.nuffic.nl
- Information on Erasmus+ and traineeship opportunities:
Commercial websites with traineeship opportunities (all levels, in Dutch)
Apprenticeships are also offered at: www.startersbeurs.nu. These are apprenticeships for recent graduates who want to continue learning through paid work.
Other information for students
- Trade union information about traineeship remuneration and traineeship agreements (in Dutch): www.fnvjong.nl/stage
- ‘Barometer’ for training-based vacancies (in Dutch): Code of conduct for foreign students (in Dutch and English): www.internationalstudy.nl
Funding and support
The Dutch Government makes study financing available to students under the age of 30 who have Dutch nationality or who are nationals of an EEA country and have been registered as resident in the Netherlands for at least 5 years. The same applies to EEA nationals who work at least 56 hours a month in the Netherlands. EEA students who are in a relationship with an EEA national or who have a parent working in the Netherlands may also qualify for funding. However, the student’s parent or partner must be a national of an EEA country other than the Netherlands. For more information go to www.duo.nl/particulieren/international-student or visit the service desk (see website).
For information on the costs of relocation from one EEA country to another and other support (including support with traineeships): EURES portal > EURES Targeted Mobility Scheme (TMS)
Students from other EEA countries plus Switzerland can find a lot of information specifically for them on the website Study in Holland.
A ʻstarter grantʼ may be of interest to graduates who are having difficulty finding work and/or want to continue studying. Over 40 % of municipalities in the Netherlands participate in the ʻStartersbeurs’ starter grant scheme, for which they receive an ESF contribution. . An EEA/Swiss national can apply for a starter grant if they are 18 to 27 years old, registered in a Dutch local authority and has been assigned a citizen service number (BSN). Link: www.startersbeurs.nu (in Dutch).
If you have a complaint, or your rights have not been respected, you can report abuses through a site opened by the Dutch trade union FNV-Jong: www.fnvjong.nl/stagemisbruik
Entry-level positions can also be offered on: www.startersbeurs.nu
Funding and support
Information about the Dutch education system: www.euroguidance.nl
Study financing from the Dutch Government: www.duo.nl
Legislation on collective labour agreements (CAOs):
For relocation costs and other forms of support (including support with traineeships): EURES portal > EURES Targeted Mobility Scheme (TMS)
The free movement of goods is one of the cornerstones of the European Single Market.
The removal of national barriers to the free movement of goods within the EU is one of the principles enshrined in the EU Treaties. From a traditionally protectionist starting point, the countries of the EU have continuously been lifting restrictions to form a ‘common’ or single market. This commitment to create a European trading area without frontiers has led to the creation of more wealth and new jobs, and has globally established the EU as a world trading player alongside the United States and Japan.
Despite Europe’s commitment to breaking down all internal trade barriers, not all sectors of the economy have been harmonised. The European Union decided to regulate at a European level sectors which might impose a higher risk for Europe’s citizens – such as pharmaceuticals or construction products. The majority of products (considered a ‘lower risk’) are subject to the application of the so-called principle of mutual recognition, which means that essentially every product legally manufactured or marketed in one of the Member States can be freely moved and traded within the EU internal market.
Limits to the free movement of goods
The EU Treaty gives Member States the right to set limits to the free movement of goods when there is a specific common interest such as protection of the environment, citizens’ health, or public policy, to name a few. This means for example that if the import of a product is seen by a Member State’s national authorities as a potential threat to public health, public morality or public policy, it can deny or restrict access to its market. Examples of such products are genetically modified food or certain energy drinks.
Even though there are generally no limitations for the purchase of goods in another Member State, as long as they are for personal use, there is a series of European restrictions for specific categories of products, such as alcohol and tobacco.
Free movement of capital
Another essential condition for the functioning of the internal market is the free movement of capital. It is one of the four basic freedoms guaranteed by EU legislation and represents the basis of the integration of European financial markets. Europeans can now manage and invest their money in any EU Member State.
The liberalisation of capital markets has marked a crucial point in the process of economic and monetary integration in the EU. It was the first step towards the establishment of our European Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) and the common currency, the Euro.
The principle of the free movement of capital not only increases the efficiency of financial markets within the Union, it also brings a series of advantages to EU citizens. Individuals can carry out a broad number of financial operations within the EU without major restrictions. For instance, individuals with few restrictions can
- easily open a bank account,
- buy shares
- invest, or
- purchase real estate
in another Member State. EU Companies can invest in, own and manage other European enterprises.
Certain exceptions to this principle apply both within the Member States and with third countries. They are mainly related to taxation, prudential supervision, public policy considerations, money laundering and financial sanctions agreed under the EU Common Foreign and Security Policy.
The European Commission is continuing to work on the completion of the free market for financial services, by implementing new strategies for financial integration in order to make it even easier for citizens and companies to manage their money within the EU.
It is not always easy to find accommodation in the Netherlands. Affordable housing is in particularly short supply in the Randstad (the area around the major cities of Amsterdam, The Hague, Rotterdam and Utrecht). It can also be hard to find affordable accommodation in university cities such as Leiden, Groningen and Maastricht, either to rent or to buy. There is a high level of demand for housing and a decreasing supply of affordable accommodation.
It is common to rent residential accommodation.
You can begin your search for accommodation by contacting the local authority and asking for information for people seeking accommodation. The local authority can tell you what municipal rules apply and how you can contact the housing corporations. You can register with the housing corporations for rented accommodation.
The rent usually consists of two parts. The first part is the basic rent. The second consists of the service charges. A maximum rent is agreed for each dwelling. The maximum rent is determined using a points system (based on a property valuation system). In the Netherlands, accommodation is available through the private sector (e.g. estate agents) or in the form of social rented accommodation (housing corporations). In the Randstad conurbation of the western Netherlands (comprising the four largest Dutch cities), private-sector rents are well above those of other regions and often exclude service charges such as gas, water and lighting.
Outside the Randstad you can generally expect to pay lower rents excluding service charges (gas, water and lighting), depending on factors including the type (apartment, family home, etc.) and size of the accommodation (number of square metres).
Housing corporations are subject to the maximum rent standard. This is the percentage by which the average rent calculated over all the accommodation of a particular corporation as of 1 July may rise. The maximum rent standard is also determined by the rate of inflation for the previous year.
Service charges are charges paid by the tenant over and above the basic rent, in accordance with the lease. Many tenants pay a monthly advance on these service charges. In return, the landlord provides specific services set out in the lease. For example, the tenant might pay for gas, water and electricity or for cleaning communal areas, such as stairwells. The landlord is required to provide an annual statement of the service charges paid. On the basis of this statement, the service charges to be paid by the tenant can be calculated. These charges can then be offset against the advances paid.
When looking for accommodation to buy, you can consult estate agencies’ websites and advertisements in newspapers and visit estate agencies in person.
Information on mortgages can be obtained from banks, other mortgage lenders and mortgage advisers. Mortgages are generally entered into for a duration of 30 years, although other periods are also possible.
You are entitled to tax relief on your mortgage interest payments. When buying property, you are required to pay 2 % transfer tax, unless the purchase involves a new property.
In January 2023, the average price of accommodation to buy was over EUR 410 000 in the province of east Groningen while, on average, the lowest prices are in Limburg. In the centre and west of the Netherlands, prices are significantly higher.
Lastly, the average price of apartments is EUR 295 000 nationally, but this has been increasing for some time because of a lack of supply.
The continuously tightening housing market, the improving economy. Although there is some tightness in the housing market, the price of accommodation to buy fell by 6.4 % in 2022. The prices given above are for guidance only and may vary from place to place and from one type of housing to another. (Because of and after the COVID-19 pandemic, the Dutch started to work from home more (on a permanent basis). This trend is expected to continue even once the restrictive measures are lifted. The expectation is that this will make people more likely to settle outside the big cities, causing house prices to rise in those areas as well.)
You can find information on the Dutch education system on the website of the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science, covering the structure of the system, funding, supervision of quality and the place of education in the knowledge society.
On the Kennisnet website, you will find lists of schools under the information provided for parents. These lists are accessible to everyone and group together details of numerous schools (including their websites). www.kennisnet.nl
The implementation of the principle of free movement of people, is one of the cornerstones of our European construction, has meant the introduction a series of practical rules to ensure that citizens can travel freely and easily to any Member State of the European Union. Travelling across the EU with one’s car has become a lot less problematic. The European Commission has set a series of common regulations governing the mutual recognition of driving licences, the validity of car insurance, and the possibility of registering your car in a host country.
Your driving licence in the EU
The EU has introduced a harmonised licence model and further minimum requirements for obtaining a licence. This should help to keep unsafe drivers off Europe's roads - wherever they take their driving test.
Since 19 January 2013, all driving licences issued by EU countries have the same look and feel. The licences are printed on a piece of plastic that has the size and shape of a credit card.
Harmonised administrative validity periods for the driving licence document have been introduced which are between 10 and 15 years for motorcycles and passenger cars. This enables the authorities to regularly update the driving licence document with new security features that will make it harder to forge or tamper - so unqualified or banned drivers will find it harder to fool the authorities, in their own country or elsewhere in the EU.
The new European driving licence is also protecting vulnerable road users by introducing progressive access for motorbikes and other powered two-wheelers. The "progressive access" system means that riders will need experience with a less powerful bike before they go on to bigger machines. Mopeds will also constitute a separate category called AM.
You must apply for a licence in the country where you usually or regularly live. As a general rule, it is the country where you live for at least 185 days each calendar year because of personal or work-related ties.
If you have personal/work-related ties in 2 or more EU countries, your place of usual residence is the place where you have personal ties, as long as you go back regularly. You don't need to meet this last condition if you are living in an EU country to carry out a task for a fixed period of time.
If you move to another EU country to go to college or university, your place of usual residence doesn't change. However, you can apply for a driving licence in your host country if you can prove you have been studying there for at least 6 months.
Registering your car in the host country
If you move permanently to another EU country and take your car with you, you should register your car and pay car-related taxes in your new country.
There are no common EU rules on vehicle registration and related taxes. Some countries have tax-exemption rules for vehicle registration when moving with the car from one country to another permanently.
To benefit from a tax exemption, you must check the applicable deadlines and conditions in the country you wish to move to.
Check the exact rules and deadlines with the national authorities: https://europa.eu/youreurope/citizens/vehicles/registration/registration-abroad/index_en.htm
EU citizens can insure their car in any EU country, as long as the chosen insurance company is licensed by the host national authority to issue the relevant insurance policies. A company based in another Member State is entitled sell a policy for compulsory civil liability only if certain conditions are met. Insurance will be valid throughout the Union, no matter where the accident takes place.
Value Added Tax or VAT on motor vehicles is ordinarily paid in the country where the car is purchased, although under certain conditions, VAT is paid in the country of destination.
More information on the rules which apply when a vehicle is acquired in one EU Member State and is intended to be registered in another EU Member State is available on this link https://europa.eu/youreurope/citizens/vehicles/registration/taxes-abroad/index_en.htm.
If you are a national of one of the Member States of the EU/EEA or Switzerland and wish to come to the Netherlands, the following procedure applies:
- registering with the local authority in the Netherlands in which you are resident;
- if you wish to stay for less than 4 months or if you require a Citizen Service Number you can make a telephone appointment with one of the following local authorities for registration as a non-resident;
For residence you will in any case need:
- a valid passport or other valid travel document;
- sufficient means of support;
- a certificate of medical insurance (see Chapter 4.6 on medical insurance).
The following reasons for residence are considered as a stay pursuant to the EC Treaty:
- economic inactivity
- residence as a family member of an EU national.
Even if you do not need a residence document (period of stay < 3 months), it may still be useful to have a declaration of registration from the Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND). Organisations such as the Tax and Customs Administration and banks may request this.
List of local authorities
Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND)
Before moving to your new country of residence, make sure you have:
- at least temporary accommodation;
- sufficient financial resources for the first month;
- the right documents:
- a valid EU passport / ID card
- a European Health Insurance Card
- an A1 form if you are a posted worker
- general knowledge of your new country of residence.
- Unemployment benefit (PDU1/PDU2):
If you receive unemployment benefit in your country of origin and you wish to maintain your entitlement to this benefit for a maximum of 3 months while looking for a job in the Netherlands, ask the institution paying your employment benefit to issue you with a PD U2 form before coming to the Netherlands. You must register with the Public Employment Services (UWV) in the Netherlands, within 7 days of being granted the export of your unemployment benefit. More info: Unemployment benefit | werk.nl
If you are working in the Netherlands and become unemployed, you may be able to get Dutch unemployment benefit. If you are applying for Dutch unemployment benefit and you have worked in the Netherlands as well as in the EU/EEA or Switzerland, you might need a PDU1 form issued in your country of origin. The best time to apply for a PD U1 form is before coming to the Netherlands. More info: Unemployment benefit (uwv.nl) and Unemployment benefit | werk.nl
As soon as you arrive in the Netherlands:
- register with the local authority in which you will be living;
- apply to the local authority for a citizen service number (BSN);
- open a bank account;
- register with UWV, if you are exporting your benefits.
If you live in Germany or Belgium but work in the Netherlands every day, or vice versa, unlike someone who emigrates, you have to deal with the laws and regulations in two different countries. More information on cross-border work and the consequences for, inter alia, your social security, tax liability and pension can be obtained, for example, from border information points (Grensinfopunten (GIPs)) http://www.grensinfo.nl/gip/nl/.
You can also contact the cross-border EURES advisers at the Agentur für Arbeit (ZAV) (Germany), the VDAB, Le Forem or Actiris (Belgium) or the UWV (the Netherlands).
Living and working in the Netherlands > search for ministry of social affairs and employment > brochure ‘New in the Netherlands’
Working and living in the Netherlands (film)
Cross-border commuting NL/B/D
EURES cross-border partnership Scheldemond NL/B
Quality of work and employment - a vital issue, with a strong economic and humanitarian impact
Good working conditions are important for the well-being of European workers. They
- contribute to the physical and psychological welfare of Europeans, and
- contribute to the economic performance of the EU.
From a humanitarian point of view, the quality of working environment has a strong influence on the overall work and life satisfaction of European workers.
From an economic point of view, high-quality job conditions are a driving force of economic growth and a foundation for the competitive position of the European Union. A high level of work satisfaction is an important factor for achieving high productivity of the EU economy.
It is therefore a core issue for the European Union to promote the creation and maintenance of a sustainable and pleasant working environment – one that promotes health and well-being of European employees and creates a good balance between work and non-work time.
Improving working conditions in Europe: an important objective for the European Union.
Ensuring favourable working conditions for European citizens is a priority for the EU. The European Union is therefore working together with national governments to ensure a pleasant and secure workplace environment. Support to Member States is provided through:
- the exchange of experience between different countries and common actions
- the establishment of the minimum requirements on working conditions and health and safety at work, to be applied all over the European Union
Criteria for quality of work and employment
In order to achieve sustainable working conditions, it is important to determine the main characteristics of a favourable working environment and thus the criteria for the quality of working conditions.
The European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions (Eurofound) in Dublin, is an EU agency that provides information, advice and expertise on, as the name implies, living and working conditions. This agency has established several criteria for job and employment quality, which include:
- health and well-being at the workplace – this is a vital criteria, since good working conditions suppose the prevention of health problems at the work place, decreasing the exposure to risk and improving work organisation
- reconciliation of working and non-working life – citizens should be given the chance to find a balance between the time spent at work and at leisure
- skills development – a quality job is one that gives possibilities for training, improvement and career opportunities
The work of Eurofound contributes to the planning and design of better living and working conditions in Europe.
Health and safety at work
The European Commission has undertaken a wide scope of activities to promote a healthy working environment in the EU Member States. Amongst others, it developed a Community Strategy for Health and Safety at Work for the period 2021-2027. This strategy was set up with the help of national authorities, social partners and NGOs. It addresses the changing needs in worker’s protection brought by the digital and green transitions, new forms of work and the COVID-19 pandemic. At the same time, the framework will continue to address traditional occupational safety and health risks, such as risks of accidents at work or exposure to hazardous chemicals.
The Community policy on health and safety at work aims at a long-lasting improvement of well-being of EU workers. It takes into account the physical, moral and social dimensions of working conditions, as well as the new challenges brought up by the enlargement of the European Union towards countries from Central and Eastern Europe. The introduction of EU standards for health and safety at the workplace, has contributed a lot to the improvement of the situation of workers in these countries.
Improving working conditions by setting minimum requirements common to all EU countries
Improving living and working conditions in the EU Member States depends largely on the establishment of common labour standards. EU labour laws and regulations have set the minimum requirements for a sustainable working environment and are now applied in all Member States. The improvement of these standards has strengthened workers’ rights and is one of the main achievements of the EU’s social policy.
The importance of transparency and mutual recognition of diplomas as a crucial complement to the free movement of workers
The possibility of obtaining recognition of one’s qualifications and competences can play a vital role in the decision to take up work in another EU country. It is therefore necessary to develop a European system that will guarantee the mutual acceptance of professional competences in different Member States. Only such a system will ensure that a lack of recognition of professional qualifications will not become an obstacle to workers’ mobility within the EU.
Main principles for the recognition of professional qualifications in the EU
As a basic principle, any EU citizen should be able to freely practice their profession in any Member State. Unfortunately the practical implementation of this principle is often hindered by national requirements for access to certain professions in the host country.
For the purpose of overcoming these differences, the EU has set up a system for the recognition of professional qualifications. Within the terms of this system, a distinction is made between regulated professions (professions for which certain qualifications are legally required) and professions that are not legally regulated in the host Member State.
Steps towards a transparency of qualifications in Europe
The European Union has taken important steps towards the objective of achieving transparency of qualifications in Europe:
- An increased co-operation in vocational education and training, with the intention to combine all instruments for transparency of certificates and diplomas, in one single, user-friendly tool. This includes, for example, the European CV or Europass Trainings.
- The development of concrete actions in the field of recognition and quality in vocational education and training.
Going beyond the differences in education and training systems throughout the EU
Education and training systems in the EU Member States still show substantial differences. The last enlargements of the EU, with different educational traditions, have further increased this diversity. This calls for a need to set up common rules to guarantee recognition of competences.
In order to overcome this diversity of national qualification standards, educational methods and training structures, the European Commission has put forward a series of instruments, aimed at ensuring better transparency and recognition of qualifications both for academic and professional purposes.
The European Qualifications Framework is a key priority for the European Commission in the process of recognition of professional competences. The main objective of the framework is to create links between the different national qualification systems and guarantee a smooth transfer and recognition of diplomas.
A network of National Academic Recognition Information Centres was established in 1984 at the initiative of the European Commission. The NARICs provide advice on the academic recognition of periods of study abroad. Located in all EU Member States as well as in the countries of the European Economic Area, NARICs play a vital role the process of recognition of qualifications in the EU.
The European Credit Transfer System aims at facilitating the recognition of periods of study abroad. Introduced in 1989, it functions by describing an education programme and attaching credits to its components. It is a key complement to the highly acclaimed student mobility programme Erasmus.
Europass is an instrument for ensuring the transparency of professional skills. It is composed of five standardised documents
- a CV (Curriculum Vitae),
- a cover letter editor,
- certificate supplements,
- diploma supplements, and
- a Europass-Mobility document.
The Europass system makes skills and qualifications clearly and easily understood in the different parts of Europe. In every country of the European Union and the European Economic Area, national Europass centres have been established as the primary contact points for people seeking for information about the Europass system.
The last few years have witnessed a sharp rise in the use of flexible employment contracts (‘flexworkers’). An increasing number of employees have a temporary contract, a temping job or an on-call contract. Temporary employment is an accepted phenomenon and a good way of gaining work experience. Work experience is considered extremely important in the Netherlands.
There is special legislation governing flexible employment contracts: the Balanced Labour Market Act (WAB). Workers with a permanent contract often have better employment conditions and more rights than flexible workers. The Dutch Government is keen to close the gap between permanent and flexible contracts. On-call and payroll workers have therefore been given greater security. Offering a permanent contract has also now been made a more attractive option for employers.
Alongside these forms of contract there are also possibilities for entering into a learn-work agreement.
Within all these different types of employment contract, many employees work part-time.
Other forms of employment include self-employed work with staff, self-employed work without staff (ZZP-ers, see Chapter 3.6 Self-employment) and voluntary work.
One special category is that of street artist.
Street artists are people who provide a service in the fields of:
- portrait drawing.
As a street artist, you do not need a work permit to carry out the activities associated with this occupation.
For a short stay in the Netherlands, EU nationals do not need a residence permit. However, you must be able to identify yourself at all times by means of a valid EU passport, EU ID card or EU driving licence.
You must have sufficient funds to be able to support yourself. You must also have medical and accident insurance. Ask the local authority where you want to work if a permit is necessary in return for payment of a fee. The local authority can impose rules, so ask about these when you apply for a permit.
The local authority will need your address. You should make sure you have arranged for accommodation before you apply to the local authority.
NB: Even street artists must pay tax in the Netherlands.
Street artists must declare their income from street activities for tax purposes.
The performance of unpaid work as a member of an organisation for:
- nursing homes,
- cultural institutions.
However, voluntary work is not highly regulated. As a volunteer you are dependent on agreements made with the organisation you work for.
This refers to employees who do extra work during a particular period. The work comes to a stop automatically at the end of a season. Seasonal work is common in the agricultural sector, the hospitality industry and the tourism sector. It comprises activities which are necessarily seasonal because of climatic or natural conditions and which can be carried out for a maximum of 9 months each year. Holiday workers are also considered seasonal workers, the difference being that holiday workers are mostly students and school pupils.
Laws and regulations
You can demonstrate that you are permitted to reside and do seasonal or other work in the Netherlands with a valid passport / ID card issued by an EU/EEA Member State or Switzerland.
Employers are under no obligation to offer seasonal workers a fixed number of hours.
If a collective labour agreement (CAO) is in place, it must set out which rules apply to seasonal workers and to which positions it applies. For seasonal work in the agricultural sector, the employer must offer accommodation that meets the flexible housing requirements (i.e. with the quality mark of the foundation for flexible housing standards, SNF).
A seasonal employment contract is a particular type of fixed-term employment contract. This means it is a normal employment contract, to which the rules of employment law apply in full. A seasonal contract ends automatically on the agreed date, at the end of the season or when a particular event occurs. For the rest of the year, no employment contract applies.
In the Netherlands, working hours are regulated by law. These laws are universally applicable. The employer must pay seasonal workers at least the statutory minimum wage. If you work for longer than your contracted hours, this is regarded as overtime. In general, you will receive higher wages for overtime. Sick pay: at most, up to the end of the specific contract. Also ask the employer if the contract can be drafted in your own language (preferably) or in a commonly used language.
Ministerie van Sociale Zaken en Werkgelegenheid (Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment)
Nederlandse Organisaties Vrijwilligerswerk (Dutch Voluntary Organisations, NOV
Wet arbeidsmarkt in balans (Balanced Labour Market Law) – WAB > onderwerpen (topics) > arbeidsovereenkomst en cao (employment contract and CAO)
CAO for Temporary Employment Agencies – ABU (Algemene Bond Uitzendondernemingen, General Association of Temporary Employment Agencies)
CAO for Temporary employment agencies – NBBU (Nederlandse Bond van Bemiddelings- en Uitzendondernemingen, Dutch Association of Intermediary and Temporary Employment Agencies
Short video about flexible working
Working and living in the Netherlands
Seasonal work in agriculture and horticulture
Independent NGO Fairwork
Stichting Normering Flexwonen (Foundation for Flexible Housing Standards) (SNF quality mark)
Central government > COVID-19 measures
A verbal contract of employment is legally valid in the Netherlands; however, we recommend that you record the most important agreements in writing.
Two forms of written employment contract are commonly used in the Netherlands, namely:
- permanent employment contracts;
- temporary employment contracts.
The most important difference is the duration of the contract. It is normal for many terms of employment to begin with a temporary contract (for 6 months or a year).
This contract runs for as long as neither party terminates it. Certain rules govern its termination, such as observing a period of notice.
This employment contract has an end date: it is entered into for a period of, for example, 5 months or for the duration of a particular (narrowly defined) project.
Temporary contracts may be extended under certain conditions.
In any event, you must have the following agreements set down in writing:
- your name and place of residence and those of your employer;
- the place(s) where you will be working;
- your position or the type of work you will be performing;
- the date of entry into service;
- the duration of the contract (if it is a temporary contract);
- how many hours you will be working (per day or week);
- your salary and when this will be paid;
- the length of your trial period, if applicable;
- your holiday allowance (you are entitled to holiday allowance of at least 8 % of your gross annual salary for the past year);
- the number of days of holiday;
- the length of the notice period;
- your pension scheme, if applicable;
- your non-competition clause, if applicable;
- your collective labour agreement (CAO), if applicable.
If a collective labour agreement (CAO) applies, this can be referred to in connection with the conditions of employment. A collective labour agreement is an agreement between employers and employee organisations with a legal basis.
Your employer must provide the information within 1 month of work beginning. Also ask the employer if the contract can be drafted in your own language (preferably) or in a commonly used language.
Modifications to contracts must be recorded in the same way as the initial contract. This is governed by statutory provisions; see, for example, the Working Hours (Adjustment) Act (Wet aanpassing arbeidsduur, Waa): www.rijksoverheid.nl.
Ministerie van Sociale Zaken en Werkgelegenheid (Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment)
Arbeidstijdenwet (Law on Working Hours)
Arbeidstijden (working hours) > onderwerpen (topics) > arbeidsovereenkomst en cao (employment contract and collective labour agreement)
UWV (publieke arbeidsvoorzieningsorganisatie, public employment service of the Employee Insurance Agency) WERKbedrijf (labour office) > solliciteren / contract-en-loon / (applications/contracts_and_wages)
In principle, young people below the age of 16 are not allowed to work. They may only work as an exception and under certain conditions. Young people aged 16 and 17 may work, but certain jobs are closed to them or may only be performed under expert supervision. An explanatory note on this topic is available from the Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment (Sociale Zaken en Werkgelegenheid, SZW). https://www.rijksoverheid.nl/ministeries/ministerie-van-sociale-zaken-en-werkgelegenheid
Pregnant women and women who have recently given birth:
In addition to the generally applicable agreements, certain special rules apply to both pregnant women and women who have recently given birth:
Work for pregnant women and women who have recently given birth must be organised such that it takes account of their specific circumstances. A pregnant woman is entitled to extra breaks and in principle is not obliged to work nights or overtime. A pregnant woman is also entitled to work in a steady and regular pattern of working hours and breaks.
The employee may not undertake any work from 4 weeks prior to the probable date of the birth until 6 weeks after the birth.
For the first 9 months after the birth, the woman may interrupt her work to breast-feed or express milk. The employer must provide a suitable room for this. The woman is entitled to breast-feed or express milk as often and as long as is necessary, up to a maximum of one quarter of her working hours. The employer is obliged to pay her for this time. For more information, see the site of the Labour Inspectorate / Working Hours Act. (www. inspectieszw.nl)
Ministerie van Sociale Zaken en Werkgelegenheid (Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment)
Arbeidsinspectie (Labour Inspectorate)
Everyone in the Netherlands is free to start up their own business. To do so you must satisfy the laws, rules and conditions imposed by the Dutch Government.
If you want to start your own business, it is advisable to register yourself with the Chamber of Commerce (KvK) as self-employed. They will be able to advise you further about procedures and conditions.
For those who want to start up as a self-employed person (with or without staff) in the Netherlands, information can be provided in the preparatory stage in relation to the following.
- A residence permit via the Immigration and Naturalisation Service/IND website (http://www.ind.nl/). Holders of an EU passport no longer need to apply for such a permit.
- drawing up a business plan via the Chamber of Commerce website www.kvk.nl
- utilising the possibilities of accessing the rest of Europe from the Netherlands via the website of the Netherlands Foreign Investment Agency (www.nfia.nl/)
- The opportunities and benefits of basing yourself in the western part of the Netherlands, via the West-Holland Foreign Investment Agency website.
- The opportunities and benefits of basing yourself in West Brabant via the website of NV REWIN West Brabant ((www.rewin.nl)).
- the possibilities of receiving subsidies via the Subsidieshop website www.antwoordvoorbedrijven.nl
- or the Netherlands Holding Companies’ Association ( www.nvp.nl ) or the Dutch Banking Association (www.nvb.nl )
- Obtaining licences via the Chamber of Commerce (KvK) and the local authorities; the KvK also provides information on the legal form that a company can take (and the associated fixed annual costs) (www.kvk.nl and www.overheid.nl).
- Liability associated with legal form, via the Royal Dutch Notarial Society (www.notaris.nl).
- taxes associated with the legal form from the tax authorities (http://www.belastingdienst.nl) and the Chamber of Commerce
- local authority taxes via the government website (www.government.nl)
- insurance via the Chamber of Commerce and the Dutch Association of Insurers ( www.verzekeraars.nl )
Dutch Association of Insurers
Kamer van Koophandel (Chamber of Commerce)
Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND)
Nederlandse Vereniging van Banken (Dutch Banking Association)
Nederlandse Vereniging van Participatiemaatschappijen (Netherlands Holding Companies’ Association)
Koninklijke Notariële Beroepsorganisatie (Royal Dutch Association of Civil-law Notaries)
Belastingdienst (Tax and Customs Administration)
Netherlands Foreign Investment Agency
West-Holland Foreign Investment Agency
Rijksoverheid Nederland (Netherlands Government)
In the Netherlands, there is a statutory minimum wage from the age of 21 and a statutory minimum youth wage for employees below the age of 21. In principle, the minimum wage is adjusted twice a year (1 January and 1 July) in line with changes in collective labour agreement wages. Collective labour agreement wages are wages based on sector agreements between the employers and employee organisations concerned, the amount of which is at least equal to or higher than the statutory level.
For an employee aged 21 or above in full-time employment, the gross minimum wage as of 1 January 2023 is EUR 1 934.40 (see: www.government.nl > ministries > social affairs and employment > minimum wage). This will be revised in July.
Collective labour agreements (CAOs) are also concluded on a sector basis. These also contain binding agreements between employers and employee organisations relating to wages Wages may then be higher, but this differs from sector to sector and often depends on the level of the position.
Details of the various collective labour agreements can be found on the website of the Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment (Ministerie van Sociale Zaken en Werkgelegenheid – SZW). An overview is also provided on the CAO home page. (see https://www.rijksoverheid.nl/ministeries/ministerie-van-sociale-zaken-en-werkgelegenheid).
It is normal in the Netherlands for a gross wage to be agreed. Your net pay is almost always transferred to your bank account.
This usually happens once a month, every 4 weeks or every week.
In contrast to gross amounts, net amounts are not determined by law. They may differ from business to business or from industry to industry. This is because of differences in deductions from pay in connection with social security contributions.
You will receive a pay slip from your employer.
This should at least contain the following information:
- the gross pay;
- the structure of this amount (basic wage, performance bonus, etc.);
- deductions by the employer for taxes and contributions;
- the statutory minimum youth or adult wage and the minimum holiday allowance that applies to you;
- the names of employer and employee;
- the period to which the payment relates (e.g. January 2021)
- the number of hours you have to work by agreement. You can check the wage paid using your pay slips, so look after them!
Ministerie van Sociale Zaken en Werkgelegenheid (Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment)
CAO-startpagina (Collective labour agreement home page)
By law you may not work for more than 9 hours a day and 45 hours a week. The average working week is between 36 and 40 hours. The Netherlands has a 5-day working week, although 4-day working weeks sometimes also occur.
All this is regulated by the Working Hours Act (Arbeidstijdenwet, ATW) and the Working Hours Decree (Arbeidstijdenbesluit).
The Working Hours Act imposes a number of standards on:
- maximum working hours;
- minimum rest periods;
- night work;
- overtime and
- on-call services.
NB: There is a separate decree for the transport sector.
The Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment (SZW) has brochures with information on:
- work and rest times for the road transport sector,
- the maritime shipping and inland waterways sectors.
Arbeidsinspectie (Labour Inspectorate)
All employees in the Netherlands are entitled to paid holiday. The statutory minimum applies in all cases. The statutory amount of holiday each year is at least four times the number of working days each week.
Most collective labour agreements provide for an amount of holiday that is higher than the statutory minimum. The number generally varies from 20 to 30 days for full-time employees. Regardless of the amount of your wage, you can claim a minimum holiday allowance of 8 %; this is known as holiday pay. The employer also has to pay the minimum wage, on average, for any overtime worked. That means it is also required to pay holiday pay for these extra hours. Holiday pay is calculated on the full value of the overtime hours (i.e. including overtime, if any).
The Work and Care Act (Wet arbeid en zorg) should be mentioned in connection with leave. Among other things, this Act regulates:
- the right to up to 10 days’ paid carer’s leave;
- maternity leave;
- the right to 2 working days’ maternity leave for the partner and flexibility for parental leave;
- the right to adoption leave for both adoptive parents.
Further information on the Work and Care Act and on regulations governing leave is available from the Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment.
The official public holidays in the Netherlands are as follows:
- New Year’s Day (1 January)
- Good Friday
- Koningsdag (date of the King’s birthday), 27 April
- Liberation Day (5 May) (celebrated once every 5 years)
- Ascension Day
- Christmas (25 and 26 December)
- The feast of St Nicholas is celebrated on 5 December. On this day, some companies and organisations close a few hours early.
- Carnival is celebrated in February or March in the southern part of the Netherlands. Companies, institutions and schools are often closed for a few days during this period.
Ministerie van Sociale Zaken en Werkgelegenheid (Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment)
Work and Care Act (WaZo)
An employment contract can be terminated in various ways:
- by expiry of the agreed term (temporary contract);
- notice by the employee or dismissal by the employer;
- termination by mutual agreement;
- setting aside of the contract by the district court;
- death of the employee.
Employees (and employers) are protected by the law on dismissal. This stipulates among other things that notice may only be given with effect from the end of a month. A different date may be agreed by collective labour agreement or employment contract.
Exceptions are possible during the trial period or if there is a substantial reason for doing so (e.g. theft); in that case, contracts may be terminated with immediate effect and without notice.
Employers cannot decide themselves which route to use to make staff redundant. Applications for redundancies on economic grounds, or dismissal on account of long-term incapacity for work, must be made to UWV (public employment service). All other dismissals must be referred to the district court.
Employees who have been employed for 2 years or more may be eligible for a transition allowance in the event of redundancy, as may workers whose temporary contracts are not extended. > ‘transitievergoeding’ (‘transition allowance’)
In the case of temporary contracts, employers must inform workers in writing at least 1 month before the end of their contract whether or not the contract is being extended. The same applies as regards further contracts of 6 months or more. This is known as the notification duty.
The period of notice to be observed by the employer depends on the length of service. Statutory periods of notice and periods of notice agreed by collective labour agreement apply here.
The period of notice to be observed by the employee is normally 1 month. The employer and the employee may agree a shorter or longer period in writing, up to a maximum of 6 months.
An employer can apply to UWV for a dismissal permit.
- Dismissal after long-term incapacity for work.
- Redundancy on economic grounds. With this form of dismissal the preventive test to verify the validity of the dismissal may also be done by an impartial collective labour agreement committee that is independent of the employer.
- Dismissal via district court:
- dismissal for the following reasons: frequent sick leave with a serious adverse impact on the company;
- unsatisfactory performance;
- culpable act or omission. For example, theft or failure to comply with a confidentiality obligation;
- refusal to work due to a serious conscientious objection where it is impossible to continue the work in an adapted form;
- breakdown in the working relationship;
- other circumstances than those referred to above that are sufficiently serious as to prevent the continuation of the employment contract, e.g. a prison sentence or absence of a work permit;
- cumulative grounds: combination of a number of the above grounds for dismissal.
Companies with 50 or more employees must have a works council.
For employees, the works council is an ideal way to play an active role in the company and influence its policy. For the employer, consultation with the works council is a way of increasing support for decisions and strengthening trust between management and employees.
UWV (public employment service of the Employee Insurance Agency) WERKbedrijf (labour office)
Everyone in the Netherlands, whether working or unemployed, is free to join a trade union. Trade union membership is a generally accepted phenomenon. There are sectors, however, where membership is not directly ‘encouraged’ by the employer. Nowadays, you can even join a trade union via their website. Almost all sectors have a trade union and there is even one for students. Members are required to pay a contribution to join such an organisation. The amount of the contribution varies according to the trade union. Trade unions take part in wage bargaining in negotiations for collective labour agreements. Most trade unions provide tax advice free of charge. They also offer free legal advice in the event of dismissal or problems with an employer.
The total number of members of Dutch trade unions is approx. 1.5 million. The main unions are the FNV, the CNV and the MHP. (https://vakbond.startpagina.nl/). The Netherlands also has large-scale, influential employers’ organisations, including MKB Nederland, for small and medium-sized enterprises. Many small traders are members of this employers’ organisation. As with employees, employers are expected to pay a financial contribution for their membership.
Together with the government, the three main organisations for ‘employees’ and the three main organisations for ‘employers’ form the Labour Foundation (Stichting van de Arbeid). The Labour Foundation seeks to reach agreement on advice to the government or recommendations for undertakings or entrepreneurs with collective labour agreements in their firm or sector.
If differences of opinion cannot be reconciled, there is always the option of calling a strike.
Small and medium-sized enterprises
CNV – Christelijk Nationaal Vakverbond (National Christian Trade Union)
FNV – Federatie Nederlandse Vakbeweging (Federation of Netherlands Trade Unions)
MHP – Vakcentrale voor Middengroepen en Hoger Personeel (Federation of Managerial and Professional Staff Unions)
If problems arise at work there are basically two possible scenarios:
- you and several colleagues are affected by a management decision;
- the matter involves you as an individual employee.
In the first instance, the matter can be brought before the works council (see 3.10), if there is one; if not, the trade unions can be called in.
In the second case, you will have to go to your trade union, provided you are a member of one, for assistance and/or advice.
You can also contact a law firm specialising in employment law. In some local authority areas you will also find a legal help desk and can bring cases before the district court.
In the Netherlands, trade unions are free to call a strike to lend force to their demands. Such drastic action is taken only in very exceptional situations, although use of strikes is on the increase.
The term Vocational Education and Training refers to practical activities and courses related to a specific occupation or vocation, aimed at preparing participants for their future careers. Vocational training is an essential means to achieve professional recognition and improve chances to get a job. It is therefore vital that vocational training systems in Europe respond to the needs of citizens and the labour market in order to facilitate access to employment.
Vocational education and training has been an essential part of EU policy since the very establishment of the European Community. It is also a crucial element of the so-called EU Lisbon Strategy, which aims at transforming Europe into the world’s most competitive and dynamic knowledge-based society. In 2002 the European Council reaffirmed this vital role, and established yet another ambitious goal – to make European education and training renowned globally by the year 2010 – by championing a number of world-class initiatives, and in particular by strengthening cooperation in the area of vocational training.
On 24 November 2020, the Council of the European Union adopted a Recommendation on vocational education and training for sustainable competitiveness, social fairness and resilience.
The Recommendation defines key principles for ensuring that vocational education and training is agile in that it adapts swiftly to labour market needs and provides quality learning opportunities for young people and adults alike.
It places a strong focus on the increased flexibility of vocational education and training, reinforced opportunities for work-based learning, apprenticeships and improved quality assurance.
The Recommendation also replaces the EQAVET – European Quality Assurance in Vocational Education and Training – Recommendation and includes an updated EQAVET Framework with quality indicators and descriptors. It repeals the former ECVET Recommendation.
To promote these reforms, the Commission supports Centres of Vocational Excellence (CoVEs) which bring together local partners to develop ‘skills ecosystems'. Skills ecosystems will contribute to regional, economic and social development, innovation and smart specialisation strategies.
Erasmus+ is the EU's programme to support education, training, youth and sport in Europe.
It has an estimated budget of €26.2 billion. This is nearly double the funding compared to its predecessor programme (2014-2020).
The 2021-2027 programme places a strong focus on social inclusion, the green and digital transitions, and promoting young people’s participation in democratic life.
It supports priorities and activities set out in the European Education Area, Digital Education Action Plan and the European Skills Agenda. The programme also
- supports the European Pillar of Social Rights
- implements the EU Youth Strategy 2019-2027
- develops the European dimension in sport
Who can take part? Find out here.
Adult Education and Lifelong Learning in Europe
Lifelong learning is a process that involves all forms of education – formal, informal and non-formal – and lasts from the pre-school period until after retirement. It is meant to enable people to develop and maintain key competencies throughout their life as well as to empower citizens to move freely between jobs, regions and countries. Lifelong learning is also a core element of the previously mentioned Lisbon Strategy, as it is crucial for self-development and the raising of competitiveness and employability. The EU has adopted several instruments for the promotion of adult education in Europe.
In order to make lifelong learning a reality in Europe, the European Commission has set itself the objective of creating a European Area of Lifelong Learning. In this context, the Commission focuses on identifying the needs of both learners and the labour market in order to make education more accessible and subsequently create partnerships between public administrations, suppliers of educational services and civil society.
This EU initiative is based on the objective of providing basic skills – by strengthening counselling and information services at a European level, and by recognising all forms of learning, including formal education and informal and non-formal training.
EU organisations promoting vocational education in Europe
With the objective of facilitating cooperation and exchange in the field of vocational training, the EU has set up specialised bodies working in the field of VOCATIONAL TRAINING.
The European Centre for Vocational Training (CEDEFOP / Centre Européen pour le Développement de la Formation Professionnelle) was created in 1975 as a specialised EU agency for the promotion and development of vocational education and training in Europe. Based in Thessaloniki, Greece, it carries out research and analysis on vocational training and disseminates its expertise to various European partners, such as related research institutions, universities or training facilities.
The European Training Foundation was established in 1995 and works in close collaboration with CEDEFOP. Its mission is to support partner countries (from outside the EU) to modernise and develop their systems for vocational training.
Quality of life – on top of the EU social policy agenda
Favourable living conditions depend on a wide range of factors, such as quality healthcare services, education and training opportunities or good transport facilities, just to name a few aspects affecting citizens’ everyday life and work. The European Union has set for itself the aim to constantly improve the quality of life in all its Member States, and to take into account the new challenges of contemporary Europe, such as socially exclude people or an aging population.
Employment in Europe
Improving employment opportunities in Europe is a key priority for the European Commission. With the prospect of tackling the problem of unemployment and increasing the mobility between jobs and regions, a wide variety of initiatives at EU level are being developed and implemented to support the European Employment strategy. These include the European Employment Services network (EURES) and the EU Skills Panorama.
Health and healthcare in the European Union
Health is a cherished value, influencing people’s daily lives and therefore an important priority for all Europeans. A healthy environment is crucial for our individual and professional development, and EU citizens are ever more demanding about health and safety at work and the provision of high quality healthcare services. They require quick and easy access to medical treatment when travelling across the European Union. EU health policies are aimed at responding to these needs.
The European Commission has developed a coordinated approach to health policy, putting into practice a series of initiatives that complement the actions of national public authorities. The Union’s common actions and objectives are included in EU health programmes and strategies.
The current EU4Health Programme (2021-2027) is the EU’s ambitious response to COVID-19. The pandemic has a major impact on patients, medical and healthcare staff, and health systems in Europe. The new EU4Health programme will go beyond crisis response to address healthcare systems’ resilience.
EU4Health, established by Regulation (EU) 2021/522, will provide funding to eligible entities, health organisations and NGOs from EU countries, or non-EU countries associated to the programme.
With EU4Health, the EU will invest €5.3 billion in current prices in actions with an EU added value, complementing EU countries’ policies and pursuing one or several of EU4Health´s objectives:
- To improve and foster health in the Union
- disease prevention & health promotion
- international health initiatives & cooperation
- To tackle cross-border health threats
- prevention, preparedness & response to cross-border health threats
- complementing national stockpiling of essential crisis-relevant products
- establishing a reserve of medical, healthcare & support staff
- To improve medicinal products, medical devices and crisis-relevant products
- making medicinal products, medical devices and crisis-relevant products available and affordable
- To strengthen health systems, their resilience and resource efficiency
- strengthening health data, digital tools & services, digital transformation of healthcare
- improving access to healthcare
- developing and implementing EU health legislation and evidence-based decision making
- integrated work among national health systems
Education in the EU
Education in Europe has both deep roots and great diversity. Already in 1976, education ministers decided to set up an information network to better understand educational policies and systems in the then nine-nation European Community. This reflected the principle that the particular character of an educational system in any one Member State ought to be fully respected, while coordinated interaction between education, training and employment systems should be improved. Eurydice, the information network on education in Europe, was formally launched in 1980.
In 1986, attention turned from information exchanges to student exchanges with the launch of the Erasmus programme, now grown into the Erasmus+programme, often cited as one of the most successful initiatives of the EU.
Transport in the EU
Transport was one of the first common policies of the then European Community. Since 1958, when the Treaty of Rome entered into force, the EU’s transport policy has focused on removing border obstacles between Member States, thereby enabling people and goods to move quickly, efficiently and cheaply.
This principle is closely connected to the EU’s central goal of a dynamic economy and cohesive society. The transport sector generates 10% of EU wealth measured by gross domestic product (GDP), equivalent to about one trillion Euros a year. It also provides more than ten million jobs.
The Schengen area
The Schengen Convention, in effect since March 1995, abolished border controls within the area of the signatory States and created a single external frontier, where checks have to be carried out in accordance with a common set of rules.
Today, the Schengen Area encompasses most EU countries, except for Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Ireland and Romania. However, Bulgaria, Croatia and Romania are currently in the process of joining the Schengen Area and already applying the Schengen acquis to a large extent. Additionally, also the non-EU States Iceland, Norway, Switzerland and Liechtenstein have joined the Schengen Area.
The creation of a single European market in air transport has meant lower fares and a wider choice of carriers and services for passengers. The EU has also created a set of rights to ensure air passengers are treated fairly.
As an air passenger, you have certain rights when it comes to information about flights and reservations, damage to baggage, delays and cancellations, denied boarding, compensation in the case of accident or difficulties with package holidays. These rights apply to scheduled and chartered flights, both domestic and international, from an EU airport or to an EU airport from one outside the EU, when operated by an EU airline.
Over the last 25 years the Commission has been very active in proposing restructuring the European rail transport market and in order to strengthen the position of railways vis-à-vis other transport modes. The Commission's efforts have concentrated on three major areas which are all crucial for developing a strong and competitive rail transport industry:
- opening the rail transport market to competition,
- improving the interoperability and safety of national networks and
- developing rail transport infrastructure.
The Netherlands is a constitutional monarchy and parliamentary democracy. The Constitution (1814) is the most important document of state in the Netherlands. It contains the fundamental rules for the political and legal structure of the Netherlands and establishes the fundamental rights of its citizens. It is the highest national law of the Dutch state; other laws are required to comply with its provisions.
Parliamentary elections are held every 4 years. These elections are to the Lower House of Parliament, a directly elected assembly of 150 people. The Upper House, which has 75 members, is elected by the executive bodies of the provincial councils.
The elections are usually contested by dozens of parties, both large and small. After the elections, a government is formed from representatives of those parties that can and wish to jointly form a majority in parliament.
In addition, local elections are held once every 4 years. The citizens of each local authority elect a new local council. These elections are often a barometer for the national elections.
Regarding the courts, the Netherlands does not have a jury system. The district courts deal with the majority of civil cases. The courts of law deal with the more important criminal and other cases, while appeals against a district court judgment are also heard by the courts of law. Further appeals against a judgment of the courts of law must be submitted to one of the five courts of appeal in the Netherlands.
Rijksoverheid – Overheid en democratie (Government – Government and democracy)
Ministerie van Justitie en Veiligheid (Ministry of Justice and Security)
Income tax is levied on the pay of an employee. The employer deducts tax at source and remits it together with the social security contributions to the Tax and Customs Administration. This levy at source is an advance levy for income tax.
Income tax is levied on sources of income in accordance with the ‘box’ system.
This comprises three boxes:
- Box I: income from employment and home ownership,
- Box II: income from a ‘substantial interest’,
- Box III: income from savings and investments.
Tax is levied differently for each box. The income from the various boxes is not interchangeable. It is therefore not possible to offset negative income from one box against positive income from another box.
The tax rate for income from employment and home ownership (Box I) is progressive and is charged over two ‘brackets’. Each bracket has a fixed tax rate. As a result, the higher the income, the more tax paid.
Motor vehicle tax: the amount of the motor vehicle tax depends on the weight of the vehicle and the type of fuel used. This may vary slightly from province to province. The website of the Tax and Customs Administration (Belastingdienst) contains a program for calculating this amount.
Local taxes: The type and amount of local tax to be paid varies according to the local authority. Common local taxes include: property tax, commuter tax, tourist tax, parking tax, tax on dogs, tax on advertising, municipal tax on certain encroachments on public land (precariobelasting), sewage charges, refuse collection charges, and legal fees.
Information can be obtained from the relevant local authority. Information can also be found on the website ‘Postbus 51’ (www.rijksoverheid.nl) or the homepage of your local authority.
Local authority home pages
Belastingdienst (Tax and Customs Administration)
The Netherlands is a relatively expensive country compared to other EU countries.
The cost of living varies according to area, and there is a clear difference between living in a town or city and living in the country. The cities are the most expensive, above all Amsterdam.
It is cheaper to live in the north and east of the country than in the centre and west of the country (the Randstad conurbation comprising the four largest Dutch cities: Amsterdam, The Hague, Rotterdam and Utrecht). Tensions in the world have, for example, caused energy costs to rise considerably, with the cost being passed on in the form of higher prices for goods and services.
Although it is difficult to give a precise picture of the cost of living, a general picture of the prices (on the day recorded) of some products is given below:
Cup of coffee
Glass of beer
Chips with croquette (typical Dutch snack)
Short bus ride
Litre of petrol (Euro 95 or E10)
Car hire (mid-range)
Two-course menu in a restaurant
The price of food varies from shop to shop, so it is advisable to compare prices. The same applies to fuel for your vehicle. Prices generally also depend on where you live in the Netherlands.
There are many different types of supermarket in the Netherlands. Nowadays not every village has a shop. Most towns and villages have a weekly market where it is possible to buy food, clothing, flowers, tools/utensils, etc. Market prices are lower than those in shops.
The Netherlands also has various second-hand shops, e.g. the ‘kringloopwinkel’, a shop specialising in recycled goods. In these shops, you can buy used clothing, household items and furniture, among other things.
Many Dutch people are currently finding it difficult to make ends meet, and there are various bodies offering advice and information on how to deal with debt and money in general.
Recycled goods shops
Because of the small amount of rental accommodation available, especially in the social sector, you will be placed on a waiting list.
The chance of a quick result increases or decreases depending on the price bracket for which you wish to be considered. It is advisable to keep in regular contact with the housing corporation with which you are registered. You will only be allowed to refuse accommodation that is offered to you under limited circumstances.
If you enter into a tenancy agreement it is usual for a deposit to be requested (e.g. an amount equivalent to 1 month’s rent, which is refunded at the end of the tenancy). A period of notice of at least 1 month applies to terminating tenancy agreements.
You can check the amount of the rent by contacting the ‘Rent Tribunal’ (Huurcommissie) Visit the site of the Ministry of Housing, Spatial Planning and the Environment (VROM) https://www.rijksoverheid.nl/onderwerpen/themas/bouwen-en-wonen for the addresses of rent tribunals.
If you rent a house and the cost is relatively high, you may apply to the Tax and Customs Administration for rent benefit.
General information on rent benefit
Rent benefit is a contribution towards the costs of rented accommodation. You are entitled to it if you meet certain conditions.
Conditions for rent benefit
The conditions under which you may be entitled to make a claim can be found at:
https://www.belastingdienst.nl/ > search for ‘toeslagen’ (benefits)
Many Dutch people buy a house. The tax relief on mortgage interest payments may make buying a house more advantageous. https://www.rijksoverheid.nl/
To buy a house, you can visit an estate agent or consult the websites on which agencies display houses for sale.
Estate agents charge (negotiable) commission on the sale price. Bear in mind that most prices that are quoted do not include such things as the agent’s and transfer fees. These are known as ‘buyer costs’. However, with new houses the prices quoted are normally inclusive. The deed of purchase is drawn up by a notary, who will also charge a fee. If there is a mortgage, the deed for this will also be drawn up by a notary.
The association ‘Eigen Huis’ can provide practical advice and personal assistance before and during the purchase https://www.eigenhuis.nl/
Ministerie van Binnenlandse Zaken en Koninkrijksrelaties (Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations)
Ministerie van Financiën (Ministry of Finance)
‘Eigenhuis’ (Own house) Association
Huurcommissie (Rent Tribunal)
Medical insurance is obligatory when you live and/or work in the Netherlands. There is a general basic insurance for each family member from the age of 18, which is administered by private health insurance providers. The level of the monthly payment is determined annually in November for the following year (1 January) and differs from one health insurance provider to another.
Those on a low income have the right to a care allowance (zorgtoeslag). You may be eligible for this allowance if your income is EUR 38 520 a year or less if you are single, or EUR 48 224 if you are cohabiting. The precise conditions and the amounts applicable for the current year can be found on the Tax and Customs Administration website: www.belastingdienst.nl
General basic insurance cover is indeed quite basic. It is therefore recommended that for the cost of:
- regular dental care,
- physiotherapy, and
- other long-term treatments,
you take out ‘additional cover’. The basic insurance and additional insurance policies do not have to be taken out with the same insurance company.
A mandatory excess (EUR 385 a year, which may be increased annually) also applies to each insured party. This is the total amount that you have to pay first (e.g. for medication or a visit to a specialist in hospital) before you are entitled to have your medical expenses reimbursed (NB: there is no charge for visiting a general practitioner).
If you live in the Netherlands you have to sign on with a General Practitioner (‘huisarts’). You can choose your own GP, but your choice is limited to the neighbourhood in which you live. Most GPs have consultation hours at certain times, for which you will have to make an appointment beforehand. If a specialist treatment is considered necessary, the GP will refer you to a hospital or medical specialist. Medical help by a hospital or specialist will not be given without a referral from a GP!
The only exceptions are:
- dental care;
- treatment by the accident and emergency departments of the larger hospitals.
Ministerie van Sociale Zaken en Werkgelegenheid (Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment)
Children in the 5-16 age group are obliged to attend school by law. Compulsory school attendance applies to all children who live in the Netherlands or stay there for long periods, regardless of their nationality or religion.
A child must start school no later than the first day of the month following his or her fifth birthday. For example, if a child’s birthday is on 22 February, they must therefore attend school from 1 March onwards. The majority of children in the Netherlands (some 99 %) start school at the age of four. During this extra year, children can get used to going to school and have the opportunity to learn to understand and speak Dutch better. This applies in particular to children who speak another language at home. A 4-year-old child is not covered by the Compulsory Education Act after enrolling at a school, so the parents can agree with the school on their child’s presence at and absence from school.
After group 8 of primary education (public and religious education), children enter higher general secondary or pre-vocational secondary education. After 4 or 5 years, once the pupil has obtained a diploma they can, depending on the level of preparatory education, continue into intermediate vocational education or higher vocational or academic education / university.
Tuition fees must be paid from the age of 18. Student loans are very common in higher education.
Certain periods in the school year are designated as holidays. Children may not be taken out of school for a holiday outside these set periods, except with the consent of the local authority (compulsory attendance officer).
A child is obliged to attend school on a full-time basis up to and including the school year (1 August-31 July) in which they reach the age of 16. This is followed by a partial attendance obligation. The young person must then follow a course for at least 2 days a week for 1 year at an educational establishment (intermediate vocational education or adult education institution or institution designated by the Education Minister). In the case of intermediate vocational education combined with a practical training contract, the attendance requirement may be less than 2 days. This partial attendance obligation can be combined with a job, depending on the type of training institution. Young people who leave school after the school year in which they reach the age of 17 are not subject to a partial attendance obligation.
Ministerie van Onderwijs, Cultuur en Wetenschap (Ministry of Education, Cultural Affairs and Science)
Dutch cultural and social life is rich and varied.
In particular, the Dutch painters of the 17th century (Rembrandt) and 19th century (Van Gogh) have had a major impact on contemporary Dutch art.
At present, it is Dutch writers, fashion designers and DJs who are regarded as particularly influential. A calendar of exhibitions and events in the Netherlands can be found on the website www.holland.com.
Sport is also popular as a form of recreation in the Netherlands. As one fifth of the country consists of water, it is hardly surprising that water sports are popular. Other common sports are football, golf, tennis, running, squash and cycling. Skating is popular in the winter.
In the Netherlands, events such as marriages, births, moving house and deaths must be reported (within a given period) to the Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages (Burgerlijke Stand) in your place of residence.
A registrar of the Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages is authorised to draw up documents such as marriage and birth certificates.
For information on how to register a birth, marriage, death, etc., visit the website of the local authority in which you live. This can be found on the local authority home pages.
Local authority home pages
The Netherlands is a relatively small and densely populated country. In recent years it has become increasingly difficult to ensure fast access within the Netherlands. Many Dutch people regularly have to endure traffic congestion, traffic jams or travelling in full commuter trains at peak times. The Dutch Ministry of Transport, Public Works and Water Management is responsible for transport and is endeavouring to solve the bottlenecks in the road network and to improve public transport.
Tolls are charged on a very small number of roads.
In addition to times, you can also look up the prices of the various rail tickets on the site of the largest rail company in the Netherlands (NS).
As well as NS, there are also private companies which provide rail travel.
The ‘OV-kaart’ (a contactless smart card for public transport) allows you to travel with all transport operators. Sometimes a journey might involve several transport operators. NB: when transferring, you must check in and out with each individual transport operator.
In addition to the train and car, the bicycle is one of the most important means of transport, particularly in the major cities. In addition, many Dutch people cycle as a form of recreation.