The employment agreement under Dutch law

An agreement will qualify as an employment agreement under Dutch law in case three key elements are applicable:

  • labor
  • wages (gross payment, taxes and social security will be withheld)
  • the employer should exercise a certain degree of authority over the employee.

The aspect ‘authority’ leads often to discussion and distinguishes the employment agreement from a services agreement. It’s a thin line between authority ex article 7:610 DCC and instruction ex article 7:402 DCC.

Legal presumption

If an employee works for an employer for at least 20 hours per month for 3 months against payment of wages, there can be a “legal presumption” of an employment agreement. It is possible to deviate from this period, for example for on-call workers and temporary workers

Fixed or indefinite employment terms under Dutch law

The employment agreement can be agreed upon for a fixed period of time or for an indefinite period of time.

This has particular consequences for the termination of the employment agreement.

Statutory requirements for employment contracts

Under Dutch employment law, the employer is obliged to provide the employee with a written statement (i.e. an employment contract), with at least the following particulars:

  • the name and residence of the parties
  • the place or places where the work is performed
  • the position of the employee or the nature of his work
  • the date of commencement of employment
  • if the employment contract is concluded for a fixed term, the duration of the contract
  • the entitlement to holidays or the way in which the entitlement is calculated
  • the notice periods to be observed by the parties or the way in which the periods are calculated
  • the remuneration and the period of payment and, if the remuneration is dependent on the results of the work to be performed, the quantity of work to be offered per day or per week, the price per unit and the time which can reasonably be expected to be spent in performing it
  • the usual working period per day or week
  • whether the employee will join a pension scheme
  • if the employee will work outside The Netherlands for a period in excess of a month, the duration of that work, the accommodation, the applicability of The Netherlands social security legislation, or a specification of the constituent bodies responsible for administering that legislation, the currency in which payment will be made, the allowances to which the employee is entitled and the manner in which the return has been arranged
  • the applicable Collective Labor Agreement (“CLA”) or scheme made by or on behalf of a competent authority
  • whether the contract of employment should be regarded as a contract of secondment referred to in Article 7:690 of the Dutch Civil Code.


If you have any questions concerning the employment agreement under Dutch law, please feel free to contact Blenheim’s team of employment law attorneys.

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