Employment Contracts in the Netherlands

Are you seeking information about employment contracts in the Netherlands? In this article, we will delve into all the crucial aspects of employment contracts under Dutch law. Whether you’re an employer looking to draft a contract or an employee wanting to understand your rights, we have all the answers for you.

Employment Contracts Under Dutch Law

An employment contract under Dutch law can be concluded both verbally and in writing. However, according to Article 7:655 of the Dutch Civil Code, the employer is still required to provide written information to the employee regarding the following (among other) terms and conditions:

  • The names and addresses of the parties involved.
  • The location where the work will be carried out.
  • The job title and a detailed job description.
  • The date of commencement of employment.
  • If the employment contract is for a fixed period of time, the duration of that period.
  • Vacation entitlements or the method for calculating vacation rights.
  • The length of notice periods to be observed by both parties or the method for calculating these periods.
  • Salary details and payment intervals. If remuneration depends on the work’s results, the quantity of work to be performed per day or week, the price per unit, and the expected time required for completion must be specified.
  • The standard number of working hours per day or week.
  • The employee’s pension rights, if applicable.
  • Mention of any applicable Collective Labor Agreement (CAO).

Different Types of Employment Contracts

Under Dutch law, there are various types of employment contracts. It is possible to enter into a fixed-term or indefinite-term employment contract. Here are some key features of each type:

Fixed-Term Employment Contract

A fixed-term employment contract has a predetermined end date specified within the contract. This type of agreement is often used for temporary work or projects. The contract’s duration and terms must be clearly outlined.

Indefinite-Term Employment Contract

An indefinite-term employment contract lacks a fixed end date. This type of agreement provides more stability for the employee, as they remain employed as long as the conditions are met. It’s crucial to include notice periods and terms in the contract.

Vacation Rights and Notice Periods

Under Dutch legislation, employees are entitled to paid vacation, and employers are obligated to grant vacation rights or employ a method to calculate these rights. Additionally, notice periods must be explicitly stated in the employment contract.

Collective Labor Agreement (CAO)

Some industries in the Netherlands have a Collective Labor Agreement (CAO), which comprises a set of labor conditions applicable to all employees in that sector. If a CAO is relevant, it must be mentioned in the employment contract to inform the employee of the prevailing labor conditions.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can an employment contract be established verbally?

Yes, under Dutch law, an employment contract can be formed verbally. However, crucial terms must be provided in writing to the employee.

What happens when the end date of a fixed-term employment contract is reached?

Upon reaching the end date of a fixed-term employment contract, the agreement automatically terminates, unless it is renewed or converted into an indefinite-term employment contract.

What are an employee’s vacation rights?

An employee’s vacation rights include the entitlement to paid vacation days. Specific rules and calculation methods may vary and should be specified in the employment contract.

Must a Collective Labor Agreement (CAO) be mentioned in the employment contract?

Yes, if a CAO applies to the employment relationship, it must be referenced in the employment contract to inform the employee about the applicable labor conditions.


Comprehending the intricacies of an employment contract under Dutch law is essential for both employers and employees. Ensure that you incorporate all relevant information into the contract and adhere to the prevailing laws and regulations. With the right knowledge, you can establish a solid foundation for a successful employment relationship.