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.
Long before the pandemic, remote work in the Netherlands was already gaining stamina and redefining the traditional landscape of work over many other countries in Europe. Fueled by technological advancements and a shifting work culture, remote work offered professionals the flexibility to operate beyond the confines of a traditional office space.
Today, as a country known for its progressive approach to work-life balance, the Netherlands has embraced this transformation, fostering an environment where remote work is not just a convenience, but a harmonious blend of productivity and well-being.
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.
In this guide, we delve into what businesses need to know about remote work in the Netherlands, as well as what citizens and foreigners should expect when working remotely here.
The Dutch tax system favors and welcomes foreign investors, making it an excellent place to hire top talent.
A massive concentration of the FinTech industry is located in Amsterdam. This area comprises Amsterdam, the Hague, and Eindhoven. Amsterdam has attracted international tech companies such as IBM, Tesla, and AWS.
Companies can also build a remote work hub and tap into this tech ecosystem in the Netherlands by using a global EOR provider like Via, all without having anyone on your team step foot in the country.
An EOR is responsible for local HR processes, such as:
Maintaining compliance with local employment laws and other regulations
Drafting employment contracts in the correct language
Managing payroll and taxes, including withholdings and deductions payments
Administering local benefits, such as private health insurance
Ensuring that work visas and permits are in order
Registering with local the social security system in the Netherlands, foreign tax authorities, and other government institutions
Offering support and navigating sticky situations, including terminations and severance (the Netherlands has a lot more employee protection laws compared to the US)
Building a remote work hub in the Netherlands offers a range of compelling advantages, thanks to the country's progressive business environment, technological infrastructure, and quality of life.
Because of the country's highly educated population, the Netherlands is home to a wide range of top international talent that can fill any position.
The Netherlands boasts a highly skilled and diverse workforce, making it an attractive location to tap into a talent pool that spans various industries.
According to the World Economic Forum, the Netherlands is the 3rd most educated country in the world.
Furthermore, the Netherlands' strategic central European location serves as a gateway for international business, facilitating interactions with neighboring countries.
The nation's business-friendly policies, strong legal framework, and political stability create a secure foundation for establishing a remote work hub.
The presence of multinational corporations like Nike, Tesla, and IKEA, as well as innovative startups demonstrates the country's commitment to fostering business growth and innovation.
The Dutch emphasis on work-life balance aligns well with the remote work model, allowing employees to maintain their productivity while enjoying a high quality of life.
The well-developed public transportation system and cycling-friendly cities contribute to a sustainable and efficient way of commuting, even for remote workers who occasionally need to visit the hub, office, or co-working space.
Culturally, the Netherlands promotes open communication and a flat hierarchical structure, fostering a collaborative and inclusive work environment that can be extended to remote teams.
As remote work is already popular and encouraged in the Netherlands, employers, citizens and potential expats understand employment laws and regulations regarding working remotely.
Remote work laws in the Netherlands encourage employees to maintain a work/life balance.
Some key laws and regulations that govern remote work in the Netherlands include:
Working Hours Act (Arbeidstijdenwet): This law defines regulations for working hours, rest periods, and breaks for employees. Under this act, remote workers are not overworked because there are stipulations surrounding working hours.
Working Conditions Act (Arbeidsomstandighedenwet): This law outlines the general duties of employers to provide a safe and healthy work environment, including for remote workers. Under this act, employee’s that request to work from home should be accommodated. Employers are responsible for assessing and addressing potential risks associated with the remote place of work. They are also responsible for ensuring that employees have sufficient working conditions such as ergonomic equipment.
Minimum Wage and Minimum Holiday Allowance Act (Wet Minimumloon en Minimumvakantiebijslag): Remote workers in the Netherlands are entitled to receive at least the minimum wage and holiday allowance as determined by this law, irrespective of their work location.
Collective Labor Agreement (CAO): If a company is bound by a collective labor agreement (an agreement between a company and a trade union), it may contain specific clauses or provisions related to remote work, such as reimbursement of remote work expenses, equipment provision, and guidelines for remote work arrangements.
Data Protection and Privacy Laws in the EU: Remote work often involves handling sensitive company and personal data. Dutch data protection laws fall under the strict EU privacy protection laws including the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). These regulations impose obligations on employers to ensure the secure handling of data, even in remote work scenarios.
Telework Agreement (Telewerkovereenkomst): While not mandated by law, having a clear telework agreement in place can help outline the terms and conditions of remote work arrangements, including expectations, communication protocols, work hours, reimbursement of expenses, and more.
Many expats choose the Netherlands because of the country's high quality of life and other reasons.
The Netherlands consistently ranks high in quality of life indexes. Its well-developed infrastructure, efficient public transportation, healthcare system, and focus on work-life balance contribute to a comfortable and enjoyable lifestyle.
The Dutch have a high level of English proficiency, making it easier for non-Dutch speakers to communicate and work effectively. This language advantage simplifies remote collaboration and integration into the local community.
The country's political stability, low crime rate, and overall safety contribute to a sense of security, which is particularly important for those relocating from other countries.
The Dutch are known for their environmentally conscious lifestyle, and the country promotes sustainable practices, making it an appealing destination for those concerned about the environment. Many expats also save money by not having to pay for expensive transportation to get around.
Right now, there is no specific digital nomad visa, but there are ways for nomads to live in the Netherlands while still working remotely for their company.
Digital nomads have a few options for visas in the Netherlands:
Tourist Visa: Citizens of many countries can visit the Netherlands for up to 90 days within a 180-day period for tourism purposes without a visa. This can be suitable for shorter stays.
Working Holiday Visa: Some EU countries have bilateral agreements with the Netherlands that allow young people to live and work in the country for a limited period. The Working Holiday Visa is generally available to people between the ages of 18 and 30.
Startup Visa: For those that plan to start a business in the Netherlands, the Startup Visa might be relevant. It's aimed at entrepreneurs who have an innovative business idea and are supported by a recognized startup facilitator.
Self-Employed Residence Permit: This option might be suitable for those that can prove that they work as a digital nomad and generate sufficient income that contributes to the Dutch economy. This is the most common visa for digital nomads and the length of approved stay is based on a ranking system based on your experience and contribution to the Dutch economy.
Entrepreneur Visa: This visa works best for those who want to operate their own business in the Netherlands. This visa is intended for individuals who can present a solid business plan and meet specific requirements.
Those who plan to work directly for a Dutch company should research regulations surrounding work visas and permits. Learn more through our Netherlands work visa page.
There are plenty of remote jobs available right now in the Netherlands on platforms like Remotive, Werk.nl or Nationale Vacaturebank. Employers that want to hire in the Netherlands should post their jobs directly on these popular sites to garner interest.
Many companies also use social media and LinkedIn to post new jobs, so the job search in the country should be easier for both citizens and foreigners.
Popular remote jobs in the Netherlands include:
Customer service representatives
Social media marketing
Customer support at call centers
Popular companies hiring in the Netherlands:
As a global employer-of-record provider, Via makes hiring Dutch talent and building your global team seamless and fast. Whether you need to hire remote workers or independent contractors in the Netherlands, we can help you navigate the entire process.
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.