The Netherlands is known for its progressive policies. The country is the first to make working from home a legal right. A leader in IT and telecommunications, the Netherlands stands out as one of the most dynamic economies in the European Union. With the 17th largest economy in the world, the country is home to over 17 million people.
If you're looking to build a hub in the Netherlands or hire full-time workers or contractors, you may have already considered how an employer-of-record (EOR) can help you hire international talent.
The good news is that an EOR provider like Via can help you onboard new employees in minutes and offer local on-the-ground support. By partnering with an EOR, you can hire and pay workers in the Netherlands without opening an entity or establishing a Dutch HR team.
Keep reading to learn about the hiring, employment, payroll and benefits requirements for onboarding workers in the Netherlands, as well as how an EOR can help you navigate the Dutch employment system.
An employer of record (EOR), sometimes known as an international PEO, enables you to quickly hire and onboard workers in the Netherlands in as little as 1-2 days.
Manage international payments, payroll, employment contracts, and statutory benefits
Navigate payroll deductions, taxes, and other hyper-specific HR processes
Support full-time workers from onboarding to offboarding and everything in between
Provide immigration assistant, including work visa sponsorships
Save up to $200,000+ USD and thousands of hours
1.03 trillion USD
1,756 (EUR) per month
The work weeks in the Netherlands are normally Monday-Friday 9am-5pm or 9am-6pm with a 1 hour lunch break.
Number of public work holidays
Up to 3% of the misclassified workers wages depending on the severity of the misclassification
Time to hire with an EOR in the Netherlands
The Netherlands has some of the happiest people in the world, as well as some of the most expensive employer costs.
Work culture in the Netherlands is focused on communication, being direct, honesty and openness. Workers in the Netherlands usually enjoy going to work and take pride in their work.
The Netherlands has two time zones: Atlantic Standard Time and Central European Summer Time. Amsterdam (the capital) operates in Central European Summer Time.
Amsterdam is 6 hours ahead of New York City, so if it’s 10am in New York, it’s 5pm in Amsterdam. When dealing with Dutch teams or clients, it’s best to schedule meetings in the morning if you are based in the US.
The typical work week is Monday-Friday from 9am to 5pm or 6pm, for a total of 7-8 hours per day or 36-40 hours per week.
When hiring new employees in the Netherlands, employer costs are higher than many other countries in Europe.
Typical costs to hire an employee in the Netherlands include:
Contributions of 22% per employee to the country’s social security system
Vacation, sick leave, and other types of leave like parental and maternity leave
Onboarding and training
In the Netherlands, full-time workers are entitled to 11 paid holidays each year. All employees are eligible as soon as they begin.
The 11 holidays that garner paid time off are:
New Year’s Day (1/1/2023)
Good Friday (4/7/2023)
Easter Sunday (4/9/2023)
Easter Monday (4/10/2023)
Kings Day (4/27/2023)
Liberation day (5/5/2023)
Ascension Day (5/18/2023)
Whit Monday (5/29/2023)
St. Stephen’s Day (12/26/2023)
The Netherlands is one the 28 countries in the EU that has the highest level of internet access. A recent study indicated that 98% of households in the Netherlands have internet access.
Under the Working Conditions Act that was passed in 2022, the government officially gave workers in the country the legal right to work remotely and flexible working arrangements.
The Netherlands is one of the world's top 10 leading exporters.
Industries that thrive in the Netherlands:
Food and Agriculture
Dutch laws change frequently, so it’s important to understand the difference between a full-time employee and a contractor in the Netherlands to avoid misclassification penalties.
Some general distinctions between employees and contractors:
Contractors perform their own work and own their tools (e.g., laptops)
Contractors file and deduct their own taxes
Employees are entitled to benefits while contractors are not
Contractors are not entitled to notice or severance
Contractors set their own hours and completion of projects while employees have a set schedule
An EOR can help you quickly decide if you need to hire a contractor or an employee.
Working Hours Act
Labor law in the Netherlands that gives workers the right for flexible and remote work
Dutch Civil Code
Federal law that defines most of the working conditions and employee rights like leave, severance and termination and working hours
Start recruiting Dutch talent using your in-house recruiter or by partnering with a recruiting agency based in the Netherlands (Via can introduce you to one of our local recruiting partners)
Choose the EOR partner that fits your hiring needs in the Netherlands. Via, for instance, is the best EOR for onboarding 20-100+ workers in Netherlands and building your local HQ without an entity
Complete visa sponsorship for employees who are not already Dutch residents or citizens
Fill out and sign compliant employment contracts
Begin onboarding full-time employees with best-in-class local benefits
Manage new worker onboarding, as well as ongoing payroll, benefits, compliance, and other local HR processes for your growing hub
Offboard workers with compliant severance packages
End of employment is handled with caution in the Netherlands. At-will employment and terminating an employment relationship without a valid reason and authorization from the UWV (Dutch Employment Agency) usually results in fines.
Unless both parties agree to a mutual termination of the employment contract, employers must ensure that they meet the qualifications to end an indefinite (full-time) employment.
Once you’ve decided that you want to expand your global business in the Netherlands, you need to decide between partnering with a PEO (if you already have an entity), partnering with an EOR provider like Via, or opening a subsidiary.
PEO’s are a simple option if you need help with HR outsourcing.
Pros of a PEO
Cons of a PEO
Best for HR outsourcing and payroll
Still need to set up an entity in the Netherlands
Usually located in the country
Enter into a co-employment agreement which makes you partially liable if any compliance problems arise
In-country knowledge about compliance in the Netherlands
Communication with a Dutch PEO can be limited and cause complications for compliance and management
Another option is to open your own subsidiary in the Netherlands.
Pros of opening a subsidiary
Cons of opening a subsidiary
Direct management of your Dutch entity
Registering a subsidiary in the Netherlands starts at around $1,250 EUR but can range into the tens of thousands, depending on what type of subsidiary you need
Hire your own local HR team to work directly with your employees in the Netherlands
Entity setup normally takes at least 4-6 weeks
Tailor your business practices to Dutch culture
Need to register with the right authorities and hire a legal team
One of the easiest and most straight-forward options is to hire an EOR service provider.
Pros of an EOR
Cons of an EOR
Save your business time and money by avoiding entity incorporation in the Netherlands
Not the best option if you need to hire more than 500+ workers in the Netherlands (should just open your own subsidiary)
Support with the visa process and sponsorship
May have less control over how HR is managed (but this can help you focus on your day-to-day operations)
Help with benefit and payroll management, support during the onboarding and offboarding process
Learn more about EOR services.
Many companies want to hire within the Netherlands but do not have the in-depth knowledge of beginning the process compliantly. Via makes hiring Dutch talent and building your global team seamless. Via helps you manage local HR processes for direct employment such as work visas & permits, benefits, payroll, background checks, and more. Our team of local labor lawyers and on-the-ground experts ensure that your company remains compliant while expanding abroad.
As your employer-of-record/entity in the Netherlands, Via assumes responsibility for employment liability, so that you can focus on what matters: recruiting and managing your team.
With Via’s transparent pricing, you can pay full-time employees or contractors in the Netherlands with no hidden set-up fees, no foreign exchange or transaction fees, and no minimums–start with 1 employee and scale up at your own pace.