Working in the Netherlands

Expats wanting to work in the Netherlands usually find employment before they arrive. Getting a Dutch work permit can be a difficult affair, since local companies have to prove there are no better local or EU candidates if they want to hire a foreign employee. 

The job market in the Netherlands

Food processing, chemicals, retail, financial services, transport, gas and oil are among the largest industries in the Netherlands. Highly qualified expats with skills in these sectors are more likely to find employment, especially in Amsterdam, The Hague and Rotterdam.

Finding a job in the Netherlands 

Networking is an important part of the job search. The Dutch take personal recommendations seriously, and it's often the best way to find a job. 

The Internet is also a good resource for those who don't have a local network, and there are numerous job portals advertising vacant positions.

Work culture in the Netherlands

Dutch is the official language, while English, German and French are also widely spoken. Although many expats get by without Dutch, having a basic understanding of the language is a definite advantage for job seekers.

Expats working in the Netherlands will need to get a BSN number (Citizen Service Number) when they arrive since employers require it to make mandatory contributions on their employees' behalf.

Dutch labour law protects employees and provides them with many benefits. Employees aren't allowed to work more than 45 hours a week, lunch breaks last about an hour, and workers are entitled to at least one day off per week (normally on weekends). Employees are also entitled to twenty days paid leave per year, and some companies offer more than this.