What should you earn in the Netherlands? Find out the Netherlands’ minimum wage and how to seek arrears if you get paid less than the Dutch minimum wage.
The Netherlands’ minimum wage depends on the age of the employee. Amounts are controlled by Dutch labour law and are reviewed twice a year on 1 January and 1 July.
As of 1 January 2018, the current gross Netherlands minimum wage amounts for a full working week, which can range between 36 to 40 hours weekly depending on the working agreement. As such, a monthly Dutch minimum wage is set and daily rates are used as an indication only.
There is no net minimum wage in the Netherlands as employers pay out differing social insurance contributions and taxes for individual employees, but below are the approximate figures of gross Dutch minimum wage. There is, however, a salary cap on public sector workers that restricts a wage higher than EUR 181,000 per year, which was extended in 2017 to include public television presenters.
Inflation in the Netherlands is on the up – averaging 1.39% in 2017. This is compared to just 0.3% in 2017, one of the lowest rates on record since 1987.
The Netherlands’ minimum wage 2018
Wages in the Netherlands increased from 1 January 2018, with workers aged 22 or over entitled to a minimum of €1,578 per month. This represents a €13 increase from the €1,565.40 recorded in July 2017.
According to figures from Eurostat, the Dutch minimum wage is the third best in the EU, outstripped only by Luxembourg (€1,999) and Ireland (€1,613).
|Employee age||Monthly Dutch minimum wage||Weekly Dutch minimum wage||Daily Dutch minimum wage|
|22 years and older||€1,578.00||€364.15||€72.83|
|21 years old||€1,341.30||€309.55||€61.91|
|20 years old||€1,104.60||€254.90||€50.98|
|19 years old||€867.90||€200.30||€40.06|
|18 years old||€749.55||€172.95||€34.59|
|17 years old||€623.30||€143.85||€28.77|
|16 years old||€544.50||€125.65||€25.13|
|15 years old||€473.40||€109.25||€21.85|
Your employer is also obligated to pay the new Dutch minimum wage as of each birthday. Flexi-workers, such as home-based workers and on-call employees, are also entitled to the Dutch minimum wage, as are contract workers, those who provide services but are not in a permanent position.
Underpayment: What to do if you earn less than the Dutch minimum wage
Your payslip should include information such as your basic pay rate and other commissions, as well as the Dutch minimum wage and holiday allowance for your age so you can compare the two figures.
If you are being underpaid, you should first speak to your employer. In some cases you employer may be eligible to apply to the Employee Insurance Agency (UWV) for permission to pay less than the Netherlands’ minimum wage, although you should confirm this.
If unsuccessful, you can then take your case to the Inspectorate SZW or a limited jurisdiction judge (anonymously if you wish), although it is advised to first consult a union, legal adviser, legal aid centre or social counsellor.
Fines of up to €12,000 will apply if the employer’s payroll records show discrepancies of underpayment. Arrears of your oustanding wages must also be paid to you within four weeks, otherwise the Inspectorate SZW can impose a fine of €500 per day, rising up to €40,000, on your employer.
Minimum wage in Netherlands for expat employees
The Netherlands’ minimum wage for foreigners who work under a Dutch work permit is set at the same rate as workers aged 22 years and older, even if the employee is younger than 22 years old and only working part-time. A foreign worker can only be issued a Dutch work permit if their employer pays them at least the full Netherlands minimum wage.
Minimum wage Amsterdam
Wages in Amsterdam ranked 23 in the world according to the UBS Prices and Earnings report (2015), while Pay Inc. estimated the median salary in Amsterdam in 2018 as €48,028.
In a 2018 salary survey by recruitment consultants Robert Walters, research showed 23% of professionals in the Netherlands received a pay rise of at least 5% in 2017, while 45% expect a further rise of at least 3% in 2018. In Amsterdam, the number of jobs available in 2017 increased by 10%, well below the 24% recorded in Eindhoven and 22% in Rotterdam.
You can find estimates of wages in the Netherlands on www.loonwijzer.nl (in Dutch).
Salaries in the Netherlands
In terms of negotiating your salary, the Dutch university and college guide Keuze Studiegids (in Dutch) analysed which degrees typically achieved the highest wages in the Netherlands. Reportedly dentistry was the most lucrative subject to study in the Netherlands, while graduates of art history and cultural studies, cultural anthropology, environmental sciences and international law were the least likely to find work with a good wage; for example, the report found that some 15 percent of art and culture graduates made less than EUR 900 a month, while many international law graduates started at NGOs where wages were structurally low. For new graduates, however, the report found they typically find it easiest to get a job with a high salary.
Read the government’s guide to the Netherlands’ minimum wage.
Click to the top of our guide to Netherlands minimum wage.