Living and working conditions

Print this page


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 place of residence and those of your employer;
  • the place(s) where you will be working;
  • your position or the type of work you will be performing;
  • the date of entry into service;
  • the duration of the contract (if it is a temporary contract);
  • how many hours you will be working (per day or week);
  • your salary and when this will be paid;
  • the length of your trial period, if applicable;
  • the level of your holiday allowance;
  • the number of days of holiday;
  • the length of the notice period;
  • your pension scheme, if applicable;
  • your non-competition clause, if applicable;
  • your collective labour agreement (CAO), if applicable.

If a collective labour agreement 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: 07/2020

Are you satisfied with the information provided on this page?