Finding TopDutch talent
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!) in a part-time role, 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) 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.
2) Verify 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) Register as an employer
If you’re hiring for the first time, you have to register as an employer with the Dutch Tax and Customs Administration. This is so they can help you fill out payroll tax correctly and on-time.
4) Create a contract
Temporary and permanent roles must have an employment contract, although they can be agreed verbally or in writing. Alongside this, a statement of employment particulars must be provided to the employee digitally or in writing.
5) Pay at least the 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.
6) Provide healthy and safe working conditions
There are a number of working conditions acts you must comply with within an office or workplace. 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.
7) Complete risk inventory
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 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.
8) Deduct social insurances
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.
9) Verifying 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.
10) Recruit from the EEA
You must start your search for foreign recruitment from the European Economic Area and/or Switzerland. Only after you have proven that you can not meet your requirements from these citizenships can you recruit from outside.
11) Apply for visas
Non-EEA/Swiss employees will need some form of permit to work in the Netherlands. For less than three months, this is likely to be the ‘work permit’, if for longer then the ‘single permit’ which is for both work and residing. The International Welcome Center North is the TopDutch help center that streamlines the formal procedures for bringing foreign talent to the region.
12) Find accommodation for temporary workers
If you have hired an employee who needs a work visa, on a temporary basis, you must provide safe, clean and healthy accommodation for them.
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 a maximum of five tax years (January 1st - December 31st). To see if your foreign employee is eligible for the 30% tax ruling, you can view the conditions on the website of the tax office.
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