Living and working conditions

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Working conditions

Employment contracts


A verbal contract of employment is legally valid in the Netherlands. However, we recommend that you set the most important agreements down in writing.

Two forms of written employment contract are commonly used in the Netherlands, namely

  • permanent employment contracts;
  • temporary employment contracts.

The most important difference is the duration of the contract. It is normal for many terms of employment to begin with a temporary contract (for 6 months or a year).

Permanent contracts

This contract runs for as long as neither party terminates it. Certain rules govern its termination, such as observing a period of notice.

Temporary contracts

This employment contract has an end date: it is entered into for a period of, for example, 5 months or for the duration of a particular (narrowly defined) project.

Temporary contracts may be extended under certain conditions.

In any event, you must have the following agreements set down in writing:

  • your name and residence and those of your employer;
  • the place(s) where the work is carried out;
  • your position or the nature of the work;
  • the time of entry into service;
  • the duration of the agreement if for a fixed period;
  • your wage and the payment date;
  • the usual working hours per week or per day;
  • the trial period where applicable (max. 2 months);
  • the notice period.

If a collective labour agreement (CAO) applies, this can be referred to as regards conditions of employment. A collective labour agreement is an agreement between employers and employee organisations with a legal basis.

Your employer must provide the information within one month of work beginning.

Modifications to contracts must be recorded in the same way as the initial contract. This is governed by statutory provisions; see, for example, the Working Hours (Adjustment) Act (Wet aanpassing arbeidsduur – Waa):



Text last edited on: 12/2018

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