There are a number of things you need to know before entering the job market in the Netherlands, such as: the make-up of the Dutch employment market, finding a job here as an expatriate, Dutch labor law, the Dutch social security system etc.
The Dutch employment market offers foreigners plenty of career opportunities. There is a growing demand for professionals and starting graduates in areas such as: health care, bilingual secretaries, tax professionals, interim managers, education, and non-industrial positions. Furthermore, the demand for experienced marketing and sales professionals, as well as business consultants is rising slowly.
Dutch Employment Law Those who work for a Dutch employer are covered by Dutch labor law, but also expatriates, whose contract explicitly states that a foreign law applies to their employment relationship, are subject to mandatory rules of Dutch employment law and/or Dutch rules of public order by means of binding allocation rules of international private law.
Citizen Service Number Everyone who is employed legally has a ‘social-fiscal’ number – the Citizen Service Number, or burgerservicenummer. Without this number, your employer cannot properly pay out your salary for tax purposes or credit your contributions for your benefits, you cannot register with a temporary job agency, you cannot work in self-employment, and you cannot arrange health insurance.
When you move to the Netherlands, you have to register with the municipality you will be living in within three days of your arrival. You will then be issued your personal Citizen Service Number.
STARTING YOUR OWN COMPANY
If you want to start your own company, you can approach the following organizations for more information:
Chambers of Commerce: The regional Chamber of Commerce is a public institution and the information desk can provide you with information on how to start a business, which diplomas you need for your specific line of business, how to write a business plan to be able to finance your ideas and what (zoning) plans your municipality has within the area in which you want to establish your firm. www.kvk.nl
MKB-Nederland: MKB-Nederland (Instituut voor Midden- en Kleinbedrijf) represents the interests of small and medium-sized companies. www.mkb.nl
Other Institutions: Other institutions that can offer you advice are banks and the national tax office. All major cities have a business desk in the town hall.
What Type of Business? There are no specific restrictions for foreign companies who wish to start a business in the Netherlands, nor are there restrictions on the ownership of real estate or on the remission of capital and profits abroad.
The Tax Office can give you more information on the type of business you can set up and its tax requirements and consequences: www.belastingdienst.nl.
VAR In order to avoid unpleasant (tax) surprises – for you and your client – you can request the tax authorities to issue you a Verklaring Arbeidsrelatie (Statement on Your Labor Relation), stating that you are self-employed. This can be arranged via www.belastingdienst.nl.
Permits To work in self-employment, you do not need a work permit. For more on permits, see registration.
HIGHLY SKILLED MIGRANTS
The work permit requirement for highly skilled migrants (HSMs) has been abolished and replaced by a residence permit under the restriction of ‘highly skilled migrant’. Only companies that are established in the Netherlands can make use of the highly skilled migrant policy.
The Immigration and Naturalization Service (IND) has sole responsibility for implementing the procedures for entry into the Netherlands / the Dutch employment market. www.ind.nl
Definition HSMs are contracted employees who earn a minimum gross income of € 51,239 a year (2012), to be indexed annually. A lower threshold applies to persons under the age of 30; € 37,575 gross a year (2012).
Procedure If your employer wants to bring you here as a HSM, he must submit a ‘request for advice about issuing a permit for temporary residence for a highly skilled migrant’. Once he has received ‘positive advice’, he sends this to you, which you submit it along with a request for an MVV (authorization temporary stay) with the Dutch embassy or consulate in your country of origin. Once you have been issued an MVV, you travel to the Netherlands and, if you are a non EU-citizen, report with the Aliens Police (this you do within three days and is a mere formality for HSMs). You apply for the temporary residence permit for HSMs with the IND office, but can start working straight away.
If you are a national of a country for which the Netherlands does not require an MVV, you may only start working once your residence permit for HSMs has been issued. To circumvent this wait, you can apply for an ‘MVV for a foreign national who is not subject to an MVV requirement’.
Students Foreign nationals who have obtained at least a Master’s degree, can request a residence permit with a maximum term of one year (called an orientation year) for the purpose of finding a job as a HSM or to start a so-called ‘innovative company’. They can make use of this possibility for up three years after obtaining their degree.
Change of Employer You are allowed to change employers while your residence permit is still valid. The IND will test the change to a new employer against the applicable conditions. If you are dismissed, a reasonable term of three months will be granted to find another position that satisfies the conditions for remaining here as an HSM.
Should you accept a position that does not satisfy the wage requirement, you will have to apply for a work permit.
Partners and Children Partners and children of HSMs will initially be granted a residence permit for one year, after which they can obtain a permit for five years. Partners of HSMs can apply for a work permit without having to meet the otherwise tough requirements for obtaining one.
MINISTERIE VAN SOCIALE ZAKEN EN WERKGELEGENHEID
Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment www.rijksoverheid.nl
DE SOCIAAL ECONOMISCHE RAAD (SER)
The Social and Economic Council of The Netherlands www.ser.nl
Social Insurance Bank www.svb.nl
www.newtoholland.nl – The official website of the Netherlands on immigration
PERMITS FOUNDATION: an international corporate initiative to promote the improvement of work permit regulations for the spouses of expatriate employees. www.permitsfoundation.com
Desk for foreign businesses offering advice on doing business in the Netherlands, regulations for permits, tax issues etc.
Entrance hall of WTC Schiphol Airport www.hollandgateway.nl
AMSTERDAM IN BUSINESS
The official foreign investment agency of the Amsterdam Metropolitan Area (Amsterdam, Amstelveen, Almere,Haarlemmermeer)
City of Amsterdam
P.O. Box 2133, 1000 CC Amsterdam
Tel.: 020 552 35 36
City of Almere
P.O. Box 200 1300, AE Almere
Tel.: 036 539 94 87
City of Amstelveen P.O Box 4, 1180 BA Amstelveen
Tel.: 020 540 44 23
City of Haarlemmermeer P.O. Box 250, 2130 AG Hoofddorp
Tel.: 023 567 61 39 www.amsterdaminbusiness.com
EISC EXPAT INFORMATION SERVICES CENTER ALMERE AREA
Expat Desk World Trade Center Alnovum
P.J. Oudweg 1, 1314 CH Almere Stad
Tel.: 036 523 84 07 www.wtcaa.nl
WEST-HOLLAND FOREIGN INVESTMENT AGENCY, WFIA
Koninginnegracht 8, 2514 AA The Hague
P.O. Box 16067, 2500 BB The Hague
Tel.: 070 311 55 55 www.westholland.nl
THE HAGUE INTERNATIONAL CENTRE
The Hague City Hall, Atrium, Spui 70, 2511 BT The Hague
P.O. Box 12600, 2500 DJ The Hague
Tel.: 070 353 50 43
Open Monday to Friday from 9.00 to 17.00 hours. www.thehague.com
ONTWIKKELINGSBEDRIJF ROTTERDAM, OBR
Galvanistraat 15, 3029 AD Rotterdam
P.O. Box 6575, 3002 AN Rotterdam
Tel.: 010 489 69 44 www.obr.rotterdam.nl
Employment in the Netherlands
Published yearly by Loyens & Loeff
Conditions of employment, tax and social security aspects
Available on request by e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Looking for work in the Netherlands
By Nannette Ripmeester
Published by Expertise in Labour Mobility
If you are looking for work in the Netherlands, this guide provides accurate and practical information on the job hunting process. Next to careers advice it also gives you a useful insight into the cultural aspects of working with the Dutch.
A Career in Your Suitcase - 3rd edition
By Jo Parftitt
300 pages of completely revised and updated information for creating and maintaining a career overseas.
Legal Aspects of Doing Business in the Netherlands
Edited by Tom Claassens
Published yearly by Loyens & Loeff
For entrepeneurs and their legal service providers who are or about to be engaged in business operations in the Netherlands
Available on request by e-mail: email@example.com
More on these subjects can be found in The Holland Handbook 2012 - 2013