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Source: Karolina Grabowska
Signing an employment contract if you have fled from Ukraine
Last updated: 4/4/2024, 8:41 AM

When you have found work, you sign an employment contract. This contains a number of agreements you have with your employer. You and your employer must also stick to a number of rights and obligations. Read here about the most important agreements you make with your employer.

Signing your contract for a new job

In the Netherlands, you sign a contract when you start work. Before you draw up a contract, you talk with your employer to agree on important topics. For example, you make agreements about:

  • How much you will earn

  • How many hours you will work

  • Which days you will work on

  • How many leave days you will have

If you agree on the important matters, you sign a contract. All working conditions are set out in your contract. You are also entitled to paid leave under certain circumstances, such as maternity leave, parental leave and care leave.

Rules on wages and benefits

As a salaried employee, you have certain rights. The most important right is the right to a minimum wage. This is the amount that you should get at least for the work you do, and it is stated in the law.

The minimum wage varies by age. The older you are, the higher the minimum wage is. From the age of 21, the minimum wage is a fixed amount. It is important that you do not earn less than the minimum wage.

In addition, you can always negotiate your wage. Make sure that your wage is not too low and you do not earn less than other people doing the same job.

Via the 'Loonwijzer' website, you can compare your wages with those of others in the same sector. This way you can see if you are being offered a fair wage.

Rules on travel reimbursement

Travel expenses to and from work can be expensive. Your employer may offer you a travel allowance. This is compensation for the costs you incur to get to work.

When travelling with your own transportation, carpooling or public transport, an employer can reimburse a legally determined maximum amount without paying tax on it. If your employer reimburses more than this maximum amount, everything above this amount is considered wages. Then it is taxed just like the rest of your wages.

When travelling by public transportation, the employer may also choose to reimburse the travel expenses incurred tax free. This means the employer pays the entire price of your train ticket or public transport, for example.

Make arrangements with your employer

If you do not know how your employer reimburses the cost of public transport, it is a good idea to agree on this in advance in your contract.

Rules for working if you are under 18 years old

If you are under 18, there are special rules about working. This also applies if you are staying in the Netherlands as a refugee. Because all children in the Netherlands between the ages of 5 and 16 are subject to compulsory education. If children do not yet have a secondary school diploma, they are subject to compulsory education until they are 18. This affects how much you can work and what work you can do.

Read what to look out for here.

16 and 17 years of age
13 to 16 years of age
18 years of age or older

Help with you contract

For any legal questions and more information about employment contracts, contact

'Het Juridisch Loket'
(legal help desk). Call toll-free (0800) 80 20 to speak to a lawyer. 'Het Juridisch Loket' is available between 09:00 and 17:00 from Monday to Friday.

Het Juridisch Loket
Visit the 'Het Juridisch Loket' website for more information.
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