Notify online

Rights and obligations

The Terms of Employment Posted Workers in the European Union Act (WagwEU) regulates the terms of employment to which European workers are entitled if they come from another EEA country or Switzerland to work temporarily in the Netherlands. The EEA is the European Economic Area, which comprises all the EU member states, Norway, Liechtenstein and Iceland.

The WagwEU

The WagwEU requires companies to comply with the main terms of employment and working conditions that apply in the Netherlands. The Act thus ensures that equal work at the same place is remunerated by equal pay. The WagwEU contains a number of administrative requirements, including the duty to notify. These make it simpler to check whether companies comply.

The WagwEU applies to employers from an EEA country or Switzerland who come to work temporarily in the Netherlands. These are:

  • employers from an EEA country or Switzerland who come to the Netherlands with their own personnel;
  • multinational companies that second employees to their own branch in the Netherlands;
  • temporary employment agencies from an EEA country or Switzerland that make temporary agency workers available in the Netherlands.

The Inspectorate SZW monitors compliance with the WagwEU.

Dutch labour laws and collective agreement conditions

If employees of companies in another EEA country or Switzerland come to work temporarily in the Netherlands, they are entitled to at least the main terms of employment that apply here:

  • the minimum wage;
  • sufficient rest hours;
  • safe working conditions;
  • equal treatment of men and women; and
  • a minimum number of paid days off.

These terms of employment are set out in Dutch labour laws, namely the Minimum Wage and Minimum Holiday Allowance Act, the Working Hours Act, the Working Conditions Act, the Posting of Workers by Intermediaries Act and the Equal Treatment Act.

In sectors where a universally binding collective agreement applies, posted workers are also entitled to the ′hard core′ of the terms of employment from this collective agreement. Posted workers are thus entitled to:

  • maximum working hours and minimum rest hours;
  • the minimum number of paid days off and additional holiday allowances;
  • the minimum wage, comprising:
    • the applicable period wage in the scale
    • the applicable working hour′s reduction per week/month/year/period;
    • bonuses for overtime, shifted working hours, irregular hours (including public holiday bonus) and shift bonus;
    • initial salary/wage increase;
    • expenses, including travel expenses and travel time allowance, lodging costs and other costs that are necessary for performing the work;
    • period-linked salary amounts;
    • end-of-year bonuses;
    • additional holiday allowances.

Not included in this minimum are supplementary pension schemes, non-statutory social security entitlements and compensation on top of the salary/wage for expenses incurred by the posted worker for travel, housing or food;

  • conditions for making the employees available;
  • health, safety and hygiene at work;
  • protective measures for pregnant women or new mothers;
  • equal treatment of men and women and other non-discrimination provisions.

You can find more information about universally binding collective agreements on the Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment website.

If the posted worker′s home country offers more favourable terms of employment and working conditions, these shall apply. This will apply to each term of employment.

Administrative obligations

The WagwEU came into effect on June 18th, 2016. Since that date, companies in EU member states have been required to comply with a number of obligations:

  • Information obligation: the obligation to provide the Inspectorate SZW with all information necessary for enforcement of the WagwEU.
  • The obligation to have certain documents available in the workplace. These are employment contracts, payslips, summaries of working hours, A1 forms and proof of payment. These documents need to be available for five years after the termination of the work as the Inspectorate SZW may request them.
  • The obligation to appoint a contact person as the point of contact for the Inspectorate SZW.

Following a check by the Inspectorate SZW, a fine may be imposed if these obligations are not complied with.

Duty to notify

As of March 1, 2020, a duty to notify also applies in the Netherlands: employers abroad and self-employed persons with a duty to notify are required to notify their work in the Netherlands through the Dutch online notification portal. They must do so before the start of their work. Among other things, they must notify employees who come here to work temporarily. The client is required to review whether all foreign employees are correctly notified. If the notification is incorrect, the client must notify the notification portal of this.

Enforcement and monitoring

The Inspectorate SZW monitors the WagwEU and compliance with Dutch labour laws. If a check by the Inspectorate SZW reveals non-compliance with the WagwEU or Dutch labour laws, a fine may be imposed. The social partners monitor compliance with the provisions in the collective agreements.

If a check of other information or a visit to the workplace reveals that the arrival of the foreign employees has not been notified, a fine may be imposed on both the employer and the client.

Self-employed persons have a limited obligation to notify and to have documents available in the workplace. This is to prevent ′false′ self-employment. False self-employment is when a self-employed person is contracted by a client or company but is in practice an employee.