We’ve previously discussed what happens if you lose your job in the Netherlands, but what about the unemployment benefit front?
We all need cash when we lose our jobs; it’s a stressful time. The good news is that you can apply for unemployment benefit in the Netherlands, AKA the WW-uitkering (sponsored by the good bureaucrats at the Uitvoeringsinstituut Werknemersverzekeringen (UWV) — try saying that 10 times fast!
Don’t sweat it if you’re an expat, you aren’t going to be left behind either. Read on to learn all there is to know about WW-uitkering. But first, are you eligible? Let’s see.
What does coronavirus change here?
Am I eligible to claim the unemployment benefits in the Netherlands?
- Expats can!! (legal residents, subject to some visa restrictions)
- If you lost your job, you must have worked 26 weeks out of the 36 — you are then eligible for basic benefits of three months of salary (de wekeneis, and not the full paycheck — more on that later on)
- To extend past three months, this is dependent on how many years you’ve worked before
- You can’t quit your job and collect unemployment allowance in the Netherlands. However, if your contract isn’t extended you CAN collect unemployment benefits here.
- If you are immediately available for another paid employment (so no taking a six months trip to Thailand first)
How much money is the unemployment benefit in the Netherlands?
Your benefit will be 75% of your daily wage, only for the first two months. After this period it will go down to 70%. Your payment is every four weeks. If nothing else, it’s enough so that anyone supporting you from overseas won’t have to send money to the Netherlands anymore.
How long can you have the unemployment benefit for?
As stated above, your benefit can be as little as three months (if you have worked 26/36 weeks) and as much as 24 months — all dependent on how long you’ve been in the employment and your personal circumstances. However, collecting unemployment benefits is (of course) a bureaucratic minefield, and the Dutch government is regularly changing up conditions and rules. They’ve been cutting down the number of months in recent years.
De jareneis – this is when you’ve worked four years out of five before you lost your job. Your unemployment can be extended because of this and means that the benefit will last as long as you were in that employment for. This also counts if you were working in another EU country, as long as you can provide evidence. This is a lengthy process because you need to wait for the country to get back to the UWV — bug the hell out of them.
What are the conditions of having unemployment benefit in the Netherlands?
- Subscribe as a job seeker at UWV (need a DigiD) and stay subscribed
- Apply for jobs – obviously, you need to make an effort and apply to get a job four times per month.
- Make sure you have a valid ID, residency
- Complete the tasks given in werkmap (more on this below)
- File for your unemployment benefit correctly
- Update them of any changes promptly – including if you are ill or want to take a short holiday (yes, there are also ‘vacation-days’ in the ‘WW’)
- Attend any appointments given to you
- After six months, accept any job regardless of role or level
Any transportation costs for this are reimbursed to you!
It’s also possible to become a freelancer while enjoying unemployment benefits in the Netherlands, by the way!
What is Werk?
As stated earlier, Werk is what is used to job search while on your benefits. It also includes options to request other benefits. Werkmap is where your CV will be uploaded and demonstrates your job hunt and tasks you’ve completed to the UWV. Training programs are also found on this, to help you become more employable. It’s also thoroughly hated by anyone involved and it might be the worst IT-experience ever.
Yet again, good luck on your job search and don’t forget to check out our other articles for more helpful information. (Or for something funny, cos we’re funny people at DutchReview). Don’t forget to join our Facebook group for more either!
Editor’s Note: This article was originally published in March 2018 and was fully updated for your reading pleasure in January 2021.
Feature Image: Nathan Cowley/Pexels