Employment contract in The Netherlands


Employment contract in The Netherlands Amsterdam Lawyer Dutch employment law


Our Dutch Lawyer employment law in Amsterdam provides legal advice on Dutch employment contractsWhat is an employment contract? An employment contract is an agreement whereby the employee enters into employment with the employer to perform work for pay. An employment contract contains the rules that the employer and employee agree upon with each other. However, there are limits to this: a provision in the employment contract may not conflict with a.o.:

  • good morals,
  • public order,
  • rules of mandatory law.

In addition, both parties in an employment relationship must behave as a ‘good employer’ and ‘good employee’.

Call our employment lawyers: 0031 20 – 522 1999 

Content of a Dutch employment contract

Each Dutch employment contract must meet 3 conditions:

  • There is a relationship of authority: the employer may give instructions to the employee;
  • The employee receives a salary;
  • The employee must carry out the work personally and may not use anyone else for that purpose.

Subjects of a Dutch employment contract

The most common subjects in an employment contract are: job description, salary, bonus, 13th month, overtime, place of employment, travel expenses, company car, probationary period, notice periods, holidays and holiday allowance, pension scheme, confidentiality clause, (non-competition clause), relationship clause and the study expenses scheme.

Collective labour agreements and employment contract in The Netherlands

Often a collective labour agreement (CAO) is applicable, a collective bargaining agreement that includes rights and obligations like:

  • working hours,
  • salary,
  • childcare,
  • education,
  • vacation,
  • retirement,
  • severance schemes.

Collision with collective bargaining agreement

If there is a conflict between the collective labour agreement and the employment contract, the collective agreement takes precedence over the employment contract. Even if the employment contract is not clear on a certain point, but the CAO is, the CAO (collective labour agreement) applies.

Dutch mandatory law and employment contract

In addition to the CLA (CAO), other regulations may apply to the employment contract, such as the Dutch Civil Code, the Minimum Wage Act, the Dutch Working Hours Act, the Working Conditions Act, and the company regulations, with, for example, rules on safety and sickness.

Rules about:

  • dismissal,
  • the probationary period,
  • minimum wage,
  • holidays
  • notice periods
  • are often of mandatory law, from which the parties cannot deviate by agreement.

Probation period in a Dutch employment contract

During the probationary period, the employment contract may be terminated at any time by either party. A probationary period clause is only valid if it has been concluded in writing and it must have the same duration for both parties.
A probationary period may last one or two months, depending on the duration of the employment contract. As from 1 January 2015, a probationary period may no longer be included in an employment contract of six months or less.

Non-Competition (compete) clause

A non-competition or noncompetition clause must have been agreed in writing with an employee who has reached the age of majority.

Types of employment contracts

Labour disputes come in all shapes and sizes. Flexible employment contracts are intended to accommodate temporary work or a shortage of personnel. This includes temporary workers, payrollers and on-call workers.

Contract for a fixed or indefinite period

An employment contract can be temporary or for an indefinite period of time. A temporary contract ends automatically (by operation of law) at the end of the agreed period. A temporary contract may only be terminated prematurely if this has been agreed in writing in advance.

Legal presumption of scope of employment

In the absence of clear agreements, an employee is entitled to a legal presumption of employment if he can prove that he has worked for the same employer every week for 3 months, or at least 20 hours per month.

Termination of employment contract

An employment contract can end in different ways:

Employment contract in The Netherlands Amsterdam Lawyer Dutch employment law Contact with lawyer employment contract in Amsterdam

Our Amsterdam employment and dismissal lawyer advises you on all aspects of your Dutch employment contract. For questions and legal advice on an employment contract, please contact our employment law lawyer in Amsterdam.


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