Posting employees to the Netherlands

8 May 2024

An international employment relationship can be subject to Dutch employment laws and regulations. When an employee is temporarily seconded to the Netherlands employers and employees must take into account various EU-laws and Dutch national legislation. In this article we will take a look at the Posted Worker situation and what we at ABAB International can do to help you comply with Dutch laws and regulations surrounding this situation. 

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Written by:
Loes van Baast Global mobility specialist | Tax
Employer and employee

Posted Workers Directive in the Netherlands (WagwEU)

As an employer you are obligated to adhere to the regulations surrounding the implemented Posted Workers Directive (WagwEU) in the Netherlands if you are a service provider who is obligated to notify. 

You are a service provider who is obligated to notify if you, as a foreign employer:

  • Bring your own staff to the Netherlands to work temporarily;
  • Second employees of a foreign branch office to a Dutch branch office of this group;
  • You are a foreign temporary employment agency and you make temporary workers available to work in the Netherlands temporarily.

Dutch employment law

As a service provider you must take into account that employees temporarily employed in the Netherlands are entitled to certain Dutch employment conditions. Regardless of which law you have declared applicable to the employment relationship, you are obligated to pay the employees in accordance with Dutch employment law for at least the following points:

  • ‘Hard core’ employment conditions from Dutch labor law or collective labor agreements (declared generally binding) up to twelve months (possibility of extension to a maximum of eighteen months), for example minimum wage, holidays, working and rest times, equal treatment and working conditions;
  • ‘Extended hard core’ employment conditions after twelve (or eighteen) months; all Dutch employment conditions, except pension and dismissal protection. Employees who qualify as a temporary worker (working under the direction and supervision of the customer) are directly entitled to the extensive hard core option.

Protecting employees

If certain employment conditions in the home country of the posted employee are more favorable than the employment conditions to which the employee is entitled under these regulations, the conditions in the home country will apply. This is assessed per component. For example, if the home country only has more favorable rules with regard to working and rest times, then the regulations from the home country apply to that component, while the Dutch conditions are leading for the other elements.

The reporting obligation can apply to all cross-border work activities, such as contracting work, temporary agency work or intra-group assignments. In some cases a self-employed person also has a notification obligation. This is the case if this person works in a specified branch which is considered a risk branch, such as construction and agriculture.

Checks and inspections

In addition to these aspects of labor law, which mainly concerns the relationship between employer and employee, there are also various matters that you as an employer must take into account when it comes to checks and inspections by national authorities such as the labor inspectorate. The labor inspectorate is responsible for enforcing the WagwEU. Think for example about the Posted Workers’ Notification obligation. Compliance with the WagwEU has been mandatory since March 1, 2020 and we see that compliance is actively checked by the national authorities. 

Failure to comply with the WagwEU obligations can, in addition to possible claims from employees, lead to heavy fines, such as 8,000 euros for not having the necessary documentation available at the workplace. Make sure to inform yourself about the impact of Dutch employment law before the start of the secondment. 

ABAB Global Mobility Services has in-house expertise for legal and tax support for employers and expats. Please contact Loes van Baast, global mobility specialist - tax, at +31 40 2942601 or send Loes an e-mail.

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Portrait photo of Loes van Baast
Global mobility specialist | Tax