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SNA License in the Netherlands: The Ultimate Guide

Sep 22nd, 2023

Hiring workers through a company that doesn’t have an SNA license in the Netherlands can prove to be a difficult task. The golden standard for hiring workers in the Netherlands with the help of a third-party organization is through a SNA-licensed provider. 

Without contacting and working with one of these providers, your company will likely run into a lot of compliance problems. Those who work with an SNA licensed provider are also seen as more upstanding in the country, which can have a positive impact on your business.

In this post, we’ll give a brief breakdown of what SNA means in the Netherlands and how it benefits employers who hire foreigners or temporary workers. 

What is an SNA certification? 

SNA in the Netherlands refers to Stichting Normering Arbeid. An SNA is an organization in the Netherlands that sets standards as well as provides certification for labor compliance and quality for companies that hire temporary and permanent staff. Companies that receive certification from SNA are often referred to as "SNA-certified" (or "SNA-gecertificeerd" in Dutch).

The SNA certification is not a license but a certification that indicates a company's compliance with certain government labor laws and regulations in the Netherlands. 

This certification is important to ensure that they meet legal requirements regarding wages, working hours, and taxes.

Employers who want to hire temporary or foreign workers in the Netherlands should strongly consider partnering with an SNA-certified company to avoid any compliance or legal issues. 

How does a company receive an SNA certification? 

To obtain SNA certification, companies typically need to apply and then undergo an audit by an accredited SNA inspection body. This audit assesses the company's adherence to labor laws and regulations, including proper wage payments, tax withholdings, and insurance coverage for employees. Once a company meets the SNA standards, they can be granted SNA certification.

The SNA in the Netherlands often does yearly checkups with the company to make sure they are still following compliance and regulations regarding foreign and temporary workers. With yearly inspections, an SNA inspector will check your record keeping for employee payroll and wages as well as employee health and safety regulations. 

Other certificates in the Netherlands

Companies that receive SNA certifications in the Netherlands are the most common when hiring or outsourcing temporary or foreign workers. But, there are other certifications recognized by the Dutch government that businesses can obtain to further show their commitment to compliance and their workers. 

SNF certification

An SNF certificate in the Netherlands refers to the Stichting Normering Flexwonen, or the Foundation for the Standardization of Labour. Similar to the SNA, the SNF certification is another certificate that companies can receive to ensure they’re remaining compliant when hiring foreign or temporary workers. 

The SNF is an organization that sets standards and provides certification for housing accommodations provided by employers to temporary labor migrants and workers in the Netherlands. The purpose of the SNF certification is to ensure that the housing provided to these workers meets certain quality and safety standards.

SNF certification is essential for employers who provide housing to their employees, particularly those who hire temporary labor migrants. It demonstrates that the housing meets legal requirements and provides suitable living conditions for workers. Employers who obtain the SNF certificate can demonstrate their commitment to fair and safe housing for their employees.

To obtain an SNF certificate, employers typically need to undergo an audit by an accredited SNF inspection body. This audit assesses the housing accommodations against the SNF standards, which cover various aspects such as living space, hygiene, safety, and amenities. For example, there must be at least 1 shower and 1 toilet for every 8 occupants. If the housing meets these standards, the employer can be granted an SNF certificate.

NBBU certificate 

NBBU stands for Nederlandse Bond van Bemiddelings- en Uitzendondernemingen, which translates to the Dutch Association of Intermediary and Temporary Employment Agencies in English. NBBU is a trade association for employment agencies, particularly those that provide temporary staffing services. 

The NBBU certificate is a quality mark that employment agencies can obtain to demonstrate their compliance with certain labor laws and regulations, as well as adherence to industry standards set by the NBBU. This certification is a way for employment agencies to assure clients and workers that they operate ethically and meet legal requirements.

To obtain an NBBU certificate, an employment agency typically undergoes an audit or assessment to ensure they meet the association's standards for good labor practices. This assessment may cover areas such as employment contracts, wage payments, working conditions, and compliance with labor laws. If the agency meets the NBBU's criteria, they can be granted the NBBU certificate.

Having an NBBU certificate can be beneficial for employment agencies, as it helps them build trust with clients and workers and demonstrate their commitment to ethical and legal employment practices.

What is NEN 4400? 

NEN 4400 is a certification standard in the Netherlands related to labor compliance and the employment of personnel by companies. The term "NEN" stands for "Nederlandse Norm" or "Dutch Standard," and NEN standards are developed by the Dutch standardization institute, NEN.

NEN 4400 certification is specifically concerned with labor compliance in the context of temporary labor and the use of subcontractors. It is relevant for companies that hire temporary staff or work with subcontractors to ensure that they comply with Dutch labor laws and regulations.

Key aspects and objectives of NEN 4400 certification include:

  • Wage Administration

  • Identification of Workers

  • Tax Compliance

  • Employment Contracts (for both full-time and contracted employees) 

  • Insurance Coverage

  • Documentation and Records

Companies that obtain NEN 4400 certification are typically subjected to regular audits by accredited certification bodies. These audits assess whether the company's practices and procedures comply with the standard. If the company passes the audit and meets the criteria outlined in NEN 4400, they receive certification.

Why should employers register and complete these certifications? 

Companies in the Netherlands may choose to register for SNA certificates  NBBU, SNF certificates for various reasons, primarily related to demonstrating compliance with legal and industry standards, building trust with stakeholders, and ensuring the well-being of their employees. 

Here are some key reasons why companies might pursue these certificates:

  • Legal Compliance: Registering for these certificates often signifies that a company is compliant with Dutch labor laws, which are designed to protect the rights and well-being of employees. Compliance can help companies avoid legal issues and potential fines associated with labor law violations.

  • Ethical and Fair Practices: These certificates demonstrate a company's commitment to ethical and fair employment and housing practices. This commitment can help attract and retain employees, clients, and customers who value socially responsible business practices.

  • Trust and Credibility: Holding these certificates can enhance a company's credibility and trustworthiness. Clients, partners, and customers may prefer to work or engage with companies that have earned these certifications because they signal a commitment to high standards.

  • Competitive Advantage: Certification can be a competitive advantage, especially in industries where ethical and legal compliance are essential factors for customers and clients. An SNA certification can differentiate a company from competitors that do not hold such certifications.

  • Access to Markets: In some cases, having these certificates may be a requirement to enter specific markets or sectors. For instance, some clients or public procurement processes may mandate that suppliers or service providers have these certifications.

  • Employee Satisfaction: Providing employees with suitable housing (SNF) and ensuring fair labor practices (NBBU) contributes to higher job satisfaction and retention rates among the workforce.

  • Risk Mitigation: Holding these certifications can help companies mitigate risks associated with labor disputes, legal challenges, or reputational damage due to non-compliance with labor and housing regulations.

  • Public Image: Companies that prioritize ethical and socially responsible practices often have a better public image. This can be important for brand perception and customer loyalty.

How an EOR can help

An employer-of-record  is a valuable partner for companies looking for an SNA-certified partner in the Netherlands.

An EOR offers expertise in Dutch labor laws and compliance, assisting with legal requirements, payroll management, taxation, and employee documentation. They ensure that contracts adhere to local regulations, manage payroll taxes, provide comprehensive insurance coverage, and maintain meticulous records. 

With an EOR's support, companies can navigate audits, mitigate compliance risks, and streamline administrative tasks. EORs bring local knowledge, scalability, and peace of mind, enabling businesses to focus on their core operations while ensuring they meet crucial certification standards in the Netherlands.

Why companies partner with Via

Via makes hiring talent around the world and building your global team seamless by helping you onboard workers in as little as 2-3 business days. With our easy-to-use platform, Via helps you manage local HR processes for direct employment such as work visas & permits, employee data privacy compliance, benefits, global payroll, background checks, and more. Our team of local labor lawyers and on-the-ground experts provide 24-hour local support and ensure that your company remains compliant while expanding abroad. As your employer-of-record/entity abroad, Via assumes responsibility for employment liability, so that you can focus on what matters: recruiting and managing your team.

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Janelle Watson
Janelle Watson
My name is Janelle Watson and I'm a Colorado native. I have a BA in English from University of Colorado Colorado Springs and an MA in English from University of Colorado Denver. Before moving to blog and copywriting, I was an English teacher for 3 years at the University of Colorado in Denver. Prior to writing for Via, I wrote reviews and content for a local concert and promotion company in Denver.

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Frequently asked questions

  • What is NEN 4000?

  • What is an NBBU certification in the Netherlands?

  • What is an SNF certification in the Netherlands?