Career > Employment contracts in the Netherlands

Employment contracts in the Netherlands

There are a variety of employment agreements for employees in the Netherlands, but a temporary or permanent contract are the most common.

Employment contracts in the Netherlands
Career: Employment contracts in the Netherlands

Types of employment contracts in the Netherlands

Temporary labour contract (tijdelijk contract), is a temporary contract for a period of time, normally for six months or one year, with a pre-determined end date. A dismissal procedure is not required to terminate a temporary contract at the end of its duration. It is common but not guaranteed for Dutch employers to offer a second temporary contract when the previous one expires.

From 2020, a temporary contract automatically changes to a permanent contract if an employee has received more than 3 successive temporary contracts or if an employee has had several temporary contracts with his employer for more than 3 years. Sometimes a labour agreement differes this.

Permanent labour contract (vast contract), this is for an indeterminate period of time. This type of contract can only be terminated if the employee resigns or if the employer finds reason to end the contract.

Zero-hour contract (nul uren contract), a zero-hour contract can exist as either a temporary or permanent work agreement. In a zero-hour contract, an employee has no fixed working hours. This allows for a flexible working arrangement where the employee can be spontaneously rostered on.
Employees on zero-hour contracts have similar rights as employees with regular contracts, including sick leave and holiday pay.

Contract with a recruitment agency (uitzendcontract), this is an agreement with a recruitment agency serving as legal employer and salary provider even though you will be working for another company. Your rights are limited.

This page was last updated: 11/22/2023.