News - Netherlands

Netherlands - November 2013

Dutch work permit rules for non-EU workers are set to tighten

Employers who hire employees from outside the European Union, the European Economic Area or Switzerland must possess a work permit. It is expected that as of 1 January 2014 it will become more difficult for employers to obtain a work permit for such employees.

The following changes to the Foreign Nationals Employment Act (Wet arbeid vreemdelingen ‘WAV’), amongst others, are likely to come into force on that date:

  • The work permit is granted for one year (with the exception of intra-company transfers where the three year period continues to apply). If the employer wishes to extend the employment agreement, a new work permit must be obtained.
  • The employer must pay a salary (at least the minimum wage) which is in line with the prevailing market rate.
  • The work permit can be rejected if the employer has been convicted or fined in relation to a work-related offense.
  • A quota may apply to an industry sector if employers in the sector do not make enough efforts to hire equally competent (unemployed) nationals of the European Union, the European Economic Area or Switzerland available for the job.
  • Employees are allowed to work without a work permit after five years of legal employment in the Netherlands (currently three years).
  • Employers must pay at least the minimum wage on a full-time basis, also for part-time employees.


Amendments to the Foreign Nationals Employment Act (in Dutch language)

For further information or to discuss the consequences of the above, please contact Wendy Terporten on +31 10 224 6 434 at Loyens & Loeff Rotterdam -


Content is for general information purposes only. The information provided is not intended to be comprehensive and it does not constitute or contain legal or other advice. If you require assistance in relation to any issue please seek specific advice relevant to your particular circumstances. In particular, no responsibility shall be accepted by the authors or by Abbiss Cadres LLP for any losses occasioned by reliance on any content appearing on or accessible from this article. For further legal information click here.

Circular 230 disclosure

To ensure compliance with requirements imposed by the IRS and other taxing authorities, we inform you that any tax advice contained in this article (including any attachments) is not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used, for the purpose of (i) avoiding penalties that may be imposed on any taxpayer or (ii) promoting, marketing or recommending to another party any transaction or matter addressed herein.


If you would like to copy or otherwise reproduce this article then you may do so provided that: (1) any such copy or reproduction is for your own personal use or if it is made available to any third party it is done so on a free of charge basis; and (2) the article is reproduced in full together with the contact details, disclaimer and any logos as they appear on each article.