You are expecting to receive a job offer so you can work in the Netherlands. Congratulations on earning it! Searching for a job in an unfamiliar country can be challenging, but now that you’ve made it this far, you’re probably wondering what to expect when you receive a job offer in the Netherlands. 

In this article, we’re going to look at a typical job offer from a Dutch employer. We will break down the communication in the image below, so you know what it means, and which questions to ask.  

Sample email from Dutch employer giving details about the job

Salary

The amount you’ll be paid is what matters most – right? In the above example, Jane is offered €3800 euros per month. If you’re a salaried worker, you’ll find that most employers in the Netherlands communicate salaries per month (as opposed to yearly). If you are an hourly worker, then you will be told the amount you receive per hour. 

Although we don’t know for sure, it’s fair to assume that this offer is gross (i.e.., before taxes), which is standard for communicating salaries in the Netherlands. Likewise, this is probably not the exact amount she’ll see in her bank account every month. Salary is taxed at different rates depending on the amount that you make. If Jane is making 3800 euros before taxes, she can expect around 3000 euros in her bank account every month. 

This amount likely includes the Dutch holiday allowance (vakantiegeld), also known as the 13th month salary. 

What should Jane ask the employer in this scenario? 

  • Clarify whether 3800 euros is gross or net 
  • If 3800 is not sufficient for Jane, this is the time to open negotiations 
  • Clarify additional benefits offered by the company that may have been advertised  
  • Don’t ask about how much you will receive after taxes. Ask this question after you’ve accepted the offer to the company’s payroll manager. 

Starting date

Isn’t it strange that Jane indicated she was available immediately, but won’t start until the first of the month? Unless there’s real urgency from the employer, you can expect that your start date will fall on either first day (or Monday) of the upcoming month. The start date they offer is usually aligned with the company’s current payroll processes — which makes administration around your employment easier on their side.  

It’s not inappropriate to request a different start date than the one that is offered, but keep in mind that it may not be possible for you to start earlier than the offered start date. 

Contract duration

One particularly important fact this offer does not mention is the duration of the employment contract. In the Netherlands, it’s common to be offered a contract with a defined end date (also known as a fixed-term contract) before a contract with an undefined end date. There are very few legal reasons to dismiss an employee with an indefinite contract – which is why it is common to start with a defined end date before switching to an indefinite contract. 

What can Jane ask the employer in this scenario? 

  • What is the duration of this contract? 
  • How long in to my employment will we revisit renewing my contract? 

Paid time-off (PTO)

In the above email, Jane is offered 30 “vacation days”. This refers to paid time off (literally translated from the Dutch: vakantiedagen). It can be confusing for expats who are used to communicating paid time off in hours, so feel free to ask for this conversion to understand what you’re receiving. Important to know: The legal minimum number of paid days off your employer must offer is 20 days (not including public holidays, which are also paid days off). 

What can Jane ask the employer in this scenario? 

  • How many hours of paid time off will I be allowed? 
  • Do the 30 days in your offer include public holidays? 

Check out our resources for job seekers in the Netherlands

It is always exciting to be offered a new job opportunity as it comes with a new role and a fresh start. Once you’ve accepted the offer, make sure you evaluate the employment contract you receive. Visit our blog to read more tips and resources that will help you navigate finding a job in the Netherlands. 

Octagon Professionals are experts in employment law in the Netherlands with 35 years of experience. We’re always looking for skilled people to introduce to our clients. If you’d like us to keep you in mind during your job search, upload your CV on our website

only show blogs for


Setting up in the Netherlands Part 2 – How to find the best office space for your business

There are a number of reasons your business might decide to move to the Netherlands… Between the sheer volume of highly skilled people, amazing infrastructure, and attractive tax incentives for companies, it’s no surprise that hundreds of foreign companies are ...

5 tips to manage performance reviews in a hybrid work environment

2022 is the year for adjusting your business and HR processes to the “new normal.” Many businesses are choosing to adopt a hybrid working model, or have gone completely remote. Regular performance reviews can help your team work together better ...

Spring cleaning checklist for businesses without an HR team

Every successful business leader understands how important it is to take care of their people. Nonetheless, it can be tricky to balance the priorities of doing work that grows your business, and the administration associated with HR when you lack ...

Explained: Dutch Holiday Allowance

It’s that special time of year again! It’s the time of year when most working people in the Netherlands receive nearly double their monthly salary all at once. That’s right: the Dutch Holiday allowance (vakantiegeld, in Dutch) is worth 8% ...

FAQ: Payroll taxes and employment in the Netherlands

Here we have compiled a list of frequently asked questions that our payroll and HR specialists regularly get asked. If your business needs support setting up their operations, or have a specific challenge involving employment in the Netherlands, don’t hesitate ...

Wage breakdown: salary, social security, and payroll tax for the Netherlands

As business owners and working people, you know that wage and “take-home pay” are often very different after payroll tax. In the Netherlands, the average amount of take-home-pay from gross salary is only 70%. Expats often need to know — ...

EXPLAINED: Employment contracts in the Netherlands

If you are preparing to employ staff in the Netherlands, you know you will need to develop employment contracts. Employment contracts are vital legal documents whereby details of the employment relationship between employee, and your company are portrayed. In addition, ...

7 Types of Employee Leave in the Netherlands

In the Netherlands, we have some of the best procedures that help us maintain a strong work/life balance. So how do we achieve this? We’ve considered all of the reasons an employee may need to take leave from work and ...