Core Facts

  • Population:  17M
  • GDP:  USD 750 billion
  • GDP per head:  USD 51,268
  • Workforce:  8.5M
  • Unemployment (2017):  5.1%
  • Average monthly wages (2017):  USD 3,200


Dutch Labour law is a complex subject as the Netherlands have a wide range of specific employment rules and regulations. These rules have provided the Dutch employee with an unusually high level of protection, even by European standards. To make it even more challenging for the global employer, the rules are dynamic and changes occur frequently as they track social and economic developments.

New national reforms introduced in 2015 aim to strengthen the rights of flexible workers and relax to some degree the previously stringent rules on dismissal. It has become easier and less costly to dismiss an employee under the new rules.

The changes are intended to free up a rather stratified labour market giving older employees an equal chance to find or keep work, making it easier to switch jobs and, in general, reducing unemployment benefits.