Working in The Netherlands

Some of the laws explained

Working as an EU contractor or employment agency in The Netherlands

Below, we have summarized a number of vital ‘ingredients’ needed to work in The Netherlands legally. The list is not complete.

We are happy to advise you and be your guide in the ‘forest’ of laws and rules. Non conforming to the rules can be very expensive, since fines are heavy! 

Please find some information about the following subjects:

1 Registration WAADI

2 Labour legislation

3  Social Insurance contributions, the A1 document

4 Taxation of employees

5 Collective Labour Agreements and Minimum Wage Law

6 NEN 4400-2

7 Compulsory registration from 1 March 2020


1 Registration

Foreign companies, contractors and agencies, who deploy their personnel to The Netherlands, are OBLIGED to register their company at the Chamber of Commerce (KvK). The name of this law (2012) is WAADI.

2 Labour legislation

In the Netherlands and Belgium, we find many companies operating, who are based in other EU member states. One of the ground rules of the European Union is the freedom to operate in other EU countries. 

In cases where a foreign contractor undertakes a job in The Netherlands, the Labour Legislation of The Netherlands is applicable. However, the rules, as set out in the Treaty of Rome I, need to be respected.

3 Social Insurance contributions, the A1 document

Employees of companies (employment agencies, building contractors, maintenance companies), who are working outside their home country, are normally insured in their own country. They need to apply for an A1 document.

The A1 document is proof, that the employee, as well as his family members, are insured in their home country, that the employee is deployed to a project somewhere within the EU, mentioned on the A1 document.

Regulation (EC) No 883/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 29 April 2004 on the coordination of social security systems (Text with relevance for the EEA and for Switzerland)

For the exact text of the Regulation, please click here

The A1 is a personal document, that mentions employee, the employer as well as deployment address. In most cases, the employer applies for the A1 document on behalf of the employee.

The A1 is valid for 12 months and can be extended in some cases.

4. Taxation of employees

Foreign contractors and agencies are obliged to apply for a tax number (BSN) for ALL employees, who are working in The Netherlands and pay their taxes (Loonheffing) on a monthly or 4-weekly basis to the Dutch Tax Office. 

5. Collective Labour Agreements and Minimum Wage Law

Collective Labour Agreement (In Dutch CAO)

In many cases, a foreign contractor or agency can be working for a Dutch contractor, on whose employees a Collective Labour Agreement (CAO) is in force. The foreign contractor or agency is OBLIGED to follow the rules of this CAO. We are talking about holiday pay and paid holidays.

Minimum Wage Law (In Dutch WML)

The foreign contractor or agency is OBLIGED to follow the WML, which means, that the gross wage, paid to employee (without tax-free expenses, such as travel and housing and expenses that have to do with the stay in another country, as well as holiday pay), must be at least the legally agreed minimum wage in The Netherlands.

This means, that social insurance contributions (in the home country in case of an A1, and in the work country in all other cases) as well as the Dutch Taxes, must be based on the Legal Minimum Wage, taking into account all CAO legislation.

6. NEN 4400-2

Foreign companies are strongly advised to apply for a NEN 4400-2 registration. This proves that the company complies with the regulations.  For more information about NEN 4400-2, please click here

7 Compulsory registration from 1 March 2020

Are you an employer abroad or a self-employed person with a duty to notify from the European Union, another country within the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland, and do you have a temporary posting in the Netherlands? If so, as of March 1, 2020 you have a duty to notify this through the Dutch online notification portal. Countries within the EEA are all the EU member states, Norway, Liechtenstein and Iceland.

Please note: the duty to notify applies as of March 1, 2020. You do not have to notify temporary postings that begin before March 1, 2020.


The above is a brief excerpt of what is required to work in The Netherlands legally.

Should you need further assistance, please do not hesitate to contact us, we are happy to undertake all the legally required steps with you!