The Netherlands has a consistently growing and diversified economy, which has made it more affluent than neighboring Germany, Belgium, and UK by GDP per capita. Furthermore, the country is internationally esteemed for its highly skilled, productive, and multilingual workforce. More than 90% of the population speaks English and the Netherlands’ education system consistently ranks among the top ten in the world. Approximately 82% of the workforce is in professional services, 16% in manufacturing and 2% in agriculture.
Why the Netherlands?
- The Netherlands’ labor pool is highly educated, skilled, and productive, especially in the country’s world-class chemical, high-tech/electronics, information technology, life sciences and healthcare industries.
- The Dutch are ranked at the very top by the EF English proficiency index for their advanced knowledge of English as a second-language.
- Thanks to an internationally renowned university system that produces some of the top graduates in Europe, foreign companies are highly attracted to the talent landscape in the Netherlands.
- The employment climate in the Netherlands is robust, bolstered by low unemployment, generous wages, agreeable working conditions, and employee-friendly policies.
- In terms of digital skills, the Netherlands’ workforce ranks in the top ten globally according to IMD World Digital Competitiveness Ranking. The country also tops EU rankings for internet connectivity and mobile internet usage.
Q&A with Andrew Lindquist, Partner, GoGlobal
What should employers expect when hiring in the Netherlands?
In addition to adhering to national employment laws, many employers in the Netherlands are also bound to the terms of a collective labor agreement. This is known in Dutch as a collectieve arbeidsovereenkomst (CAO). These agreements outline provisions and terms agreed upon by an employer (or employer of record) and one or more trade unions. While just under 20% of all Dutch employees are members of trade union, over 80% of the country’s employees are covered by a CAO. In some cases, the country’s Minister of Social Affairs governs that a specific agreement applies to an entire industry. Effectively, this means a CAO could apply to a company – even if they’ve never negotiated with a trade union. CAOs are typically put up for review every few years and the terms may be updated.
Dutch law doesn’t specify how many hours constitute a standard workweek, but it usually ranges from 36 to 40 hours. As per the Working Hours Act, an employee must not average more than 55 hours per week during a four-week period; during a 16-week period, the weekly average must not exceed 48 hours. Employers should also be aware that employees are entitled to paid holiday leave that is equivalent to four times their weekly working hours. For instance, an employee that works 40 hours a week must receive 160 hours (or four weeks) of leave. Moreover, unused time is rolled over into the next year but must be used within the first six months of the year.
What makes GoGlobal’s Employer of Record services in the Netherlands special?
While the talent pool in the Netherlands is dynamic and rewarding, there are some regulatory nuances to consider in the hiring process. Supported by a local team that has a wealth of experience in hiring and managing workforces in the Netherlands, GoGlobal’s clients are fully consulted throughout the EOR lifecycle. Employees receive a personal onboarding call from the GoGlobal team to explain the EOR model, which is not as frequently used in the Netherlands. Those same team members remain as the point of contact for the employee throughout the arrangement. They are available to answer any questions regarding payroll, benefits, or any other HR matters that our clients would not be able to address due to a lack of presence in the Netherlands.
What’s led to the explosive growth of business in the Netherlands?
The Netherlands offers a unique combination of qualities that encourage international investment and distinguish the country as a competitive and highly attractive destination for business. These include favorable taxation principles, a strong legal system, an advanced logistics system, sophisticated infrastructure, and a talented workforce.
Along with its renowned education system that attracts students from across the EU and around the world, the Netherlands is exceptionally welcoming to international talent. Though it is a relatively small country of 17 million people, the Netherlands hosts more than one million foreign workers. Notably, the country’s “Highly Skilled Migrant Visa” scheme enables companies to attract highly qualified expats to their Netherlands operations.
These factors make the Netherlands a great location for expanding into the EU, scaling new business opportunities, and hiring top talent.
GoGlobal is the world’s fastest growing, privately owned Global Employer of Record (EOR) service provider, with a globally distributed and remote workforce. GoGlobal’s technology-enabled EOR solution allows businesses of all sizes and geographies to hire staff globally without the need to set up a local entity, opening new doors to rapid expansion and growth. GoGlobal clients can hire top talent anywhere in the world – quickly, cost-effectively, and compliantly.