Hire employees in TopDutch

Talent in the TopDutch region is internationally orientated, digitally skilled and sustainably minded. Our knowledge institutes are closely aligned with the needs of the business world, which has lead to a highly skilled, focused talent pool. Alongside this, we’ve worked hard to ease the process of bringing in talent from abroad to join us. These are just some of the reasons international organizations are choosing to build their businesses here.

Find employees

Finding talent in the TopDutch region

Make it in the North is a joint initiative of various governmental agencies, universities and industry in the TopDutch region which supports internationalization in the region. The project brings together employees with international talent through: a ‘no-Dutch-no-problem’ job portal, a digital map of the international-facing companies in the TopDutch region and linking them together, and career events that encourage international networking between talent and employers.


If you’re looking for a non-Dutch speaking employee, their job portal is free to post vacancies on, and is well-known within the international talent of the Northern Netherlands.

Another popular route for finding employees is through agencies. There are different types of agencies for different employer needs. We have agencies particularly for hiring a student (there’s a lot of them here!), management or executive roles, and bilingual talent. Using an agency takes a lot of the ground-work out of the hiring process; it’s often quicker and they usually have a wider range of specialized talent in their network, which can help with quality of hire. 


Employment law & regulations


Dutch employment law can be complicated if you’re just starting out. The Netherlands Enterprise Agency sets out 12 legal obligations you must consider during the recruitment process.

1) Comply with laws and regulations when recruiting staff
Following rules for equal treatment of employees represents a fundamental starting point in the hiring process. This should be reflected in a neutral and inclusive approach in job ads and interviews that makes candidates feel welcome and respected.

2) Verify and register identity

Employers in the TopDutch region have a legal obligation to ask for, and keep a copy of a valid ID on file for 5 years after the employee leaves the organization.

3) Screen your future employees
Depending on the sensitivity of the role this could be anything from checking references to security clearances through the Dutch Intelligence Agency.

4) Update your records
Before an employee starts, all mandatory data needs to be processed in your records. This may include but is not limited to payroll tax records, a copy of the employee’s proof of identity and payroll statements.

5) Register as an employer with the Tax Administration
When hiring for the first time, you have to register as an employer with the Dutch Tax and Customs Administration. Then, you will receive the necessary forms to meet your payroll tax obligations.


6) Enter into a contract of employment
Temporary and permanent roles must have an employment contract, although they can be agreed verbally or in writing. This specifies the employee’s salary, indicates whether a collective labor agreement applies, and outlines working hours and whether an employee pension scheme is arranged. Alongside this, a statement of employment particulars must be provided to the employee digitally or in writing.

7) Pay at least the Dutch minimum wage
The Netherlands has a statutory minimum wage, which all employees must pay to any form of employee (with the exception of interns, who are classed as being in education). The minimum wage is dependent on age, and is updated every six months in line with inflation. Furthermore, employees are entitled to a holiday allowance.

8) Provide healthy and safe working conditions
There are a number of working conditions acts you must comply with within an office or workplace. Therefore, you must draw up a health and safety policy and sign a basic contract with a health and safety service provider. If your employee has further sector-dependent hazards such as working in a lab, working with heavy equipment etc. they may also have to have completed certain certificates. Workplace safety does not just apply to physical safety, but also psychological well-being and age-based career advice.

9) Draw up a risk inventory and evaluation
Risk inventories include factors such as what risks your employees may face in the workplace, the measures that have been taken to prevent them, and planning for emergencies. If you have less than 25 employees you can do this yourself via tools provided by the business association in your industry, if you have more than 25 employees this task has to be done by a risk assessment officer. Once you've completed it, you must display it in a place easily accessible and known to your employees.

10) Deduct social insurance
As an employer, it is your responsibility to deduct national insurance and employee insurance from your employees wage. The contributions they make are a percentage of their income and come as a part of the overall payroll tax. Self-employed workers are responsible for paying national insurance themselves, as part of their income tax; they are not obliged to pay employee insurance however voluntary employee insurance is recommended.

11) Verify health insurance
It is a legal requirement for workers in the Netherlands, regardless of nationality, to have Dutch health insurance. If they haven't, they will be fined and the Dutch Healthcare Institute will take it out for them, after which they are obliged to pay the premiums back to them.

12) Arrange a pension for your employees
If there is a specific pension fund for your sector, you must offer your employees a pension scheme. If there is no sector pension fund, you can choose whether to offer your employees a pension scheme.

You can view the 12 aspects with further explanations and FAQs on the Netherlands Enterprise Agency website.

Sometimes, it is best to enlist the help of a professional. The IWCN has a list of legal, payroll and immigration service partners that are specialized in international business.  


The 30 Percent Tax Ruling

As an incentive to bring talent with experience or skills that is rare in the Netherlands, we have a scheme known as the ‘30% Tax Ruling’ or the ‘30% Tax Reimbursement Ruling’. If a foreign employee meets the conditions for the ruling, then employers are legally able to pay 30% of your salary as a tax free ‘compensation’ for relocating to the Netherlands. This is allowed for five years but reduced to 20% and 10% every 20 months. Also, the 30% ruling may only be applied up to a maximum amount, the maximum remuneration. Further information on the conditions of the 30% tax ruling can be found on the website of the tax office. 

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