Wages in the Netherlands (and other important work ‘stuff’):

Wages in the Netherlands baffling you? No worries, we have you covered! Here’s all you need to know about understanding your Dutch salary, understanding your payslip (because those words can seem quite scary), and other important things to know when working in the Netherlands. Here’s another article to get you started beforehand.

Ahh, working in the Netherlands – it comes with all its joys and complications. That along with understanding wages in the Netherlands. Well, DutchReview are here to make you make sense of it all (aren’t we a kind bunch). Before we fully start, let’s look at wages in the Netherlands and what they are like. This differs depending on many different factors, such as age. As it is revised often in order to keep it in line with inflation, this may change (correct from the start of 2018). Note: minimum wage is based on a full-time employee (36 – 40 hours per week) – so that’s what you’re looking at BTW.

Just cos a ‘kitty in a wig at work’ gif was definitely and totally needed here…


What’s the minimum wage in the Netherlands?

  • Age: 20, minimum wage €50,98 per day, €254,90 per week, €1.104,60 per month
  • Aged: 21, minimum wage €61,91 per day, €309,55 per week, €1.341,30 per month
  • Age: 22+, minimum wage €72,83 per day, €364,15 per week, €1.578,00 per month

Now for the minimum wage based on hours, per week:

  • Age: 20, 36 hours = €7,09; 38 hours = €6,70; 40 hours = €6,38
  • Aged: 21, 36 hours = €8,60; 38 hours = €8,15; 40 hours = €7,74
  • Age: 22+, 36 hours = €10,12; 38 hours = €9,59; 40 hours = €9,11

Like we said in our other article on working in the Netherlands:


If you’re working over here, then the law applies to you, even if another law is present in your employment. Always remember that guys, and this goes for your wages too!

Firstly, when you start working in the Netherlands, you will be given a fixed-term contract. You may be used to be automatically permanently employed – but it doesn’t work like that here. You will have a contract and then they will choose whether to extend it when the time comes – you can have no more than 3 contracts, you must either be let go or employed permanently. It’s incredibly difficult to get rid of an employee if they are employed on a permanent contract, so they need to be sure that you’re going to be good to them. It’s also important to note that if you have more than a 6-month gap, the contracts restart again (how annoying)!

wages in the netherlands
When you realise that wages in the Netherlands are pretty damn decent.

Lost your job? Don’t worry we have that covered in a completely other article. 😉 Anyway, now we’ve covered the basics and wages – what about everything else?


Help! I don’t understand my Dutch payslip

Already working in the Netherlands? Okay then, first of all, let’s tackle those scary Dutch words on a payslip. Here’s a list of words that almost definitely will be present on your payslips:

  • Salaris Periode – the period of pay
  • Personeelsnummer = Your employee number
  • BSN = Your Dutch social security number (your BSN)
  • Geboortedatum = Your date of birth
  • Afdeling/Functieomschrijving = Your job role
  • Anciënniteitsdatum/Datum in dienst = Date you started your employment
  • Salaris/uurloon = Your gross salary (before tax)
  • Minimumloon = Minimum wage
  • Verzekerd voor WW/WiA/ZW/Zvw = social security you contribute to
  • Bijz. tarief/heffingskorting (ja/nee) = tax rate (percentage) / general tax credit (yes or no)
  • Gewerkt uren = Hours worked
  • Sociale verzekeringen (SV) = Your social security contributions
  • Reiskostenvergoeding = Transport reimbursement cost
  • Totaal Netto = net salary after everything – literally what will be paid to you for that month
  • Vakantiegeld = holiday leave, in hours

If you are eligible for social security premiums, these will also be on your payslip. Some of these include: ZW or Zvw (Zorgverzekeringswet)= Sick pay, AWBZ = contribution to special health care, AP-premie = disability pension allowance, WW (Werkloosheidswet) = unemployment benefit.

Not so scary now, huh? (Or maybe it is . So… many… weird… words… and… numbers.)


Looking at your Dutch pay slip be like… (wtf is all dis)


What’s the difference between net and gross salary?

You may have got your head around the payslip finally, but are you still a bit confused about what your salary actually is? Well, there is a big difference between your net and your gross salary. So, what’s the difference I hear you ask?

Your net salary is what your salary is after everything has been deducted. This means that things such as pension contribution and social security payments, holiday allowance and income tax have already been taken off. This is basically how much money is going to land in your bank account on payday. To work this out prior, you can use salary calculators!

Your gross salary is basically the complete opposite. It’s how much your salary is without any tax or anything being taken off. This is what you would say you earnt if someone asked you and what your employer would refer to.


What else is included in my salary?

You may have noticed, but every month you contribute towards holiday pay. On May payday every year you receive this allowance (8% of your annual wage – like 1 months salary). This helps to pay for summer holidays. It’s great – it’s just a month with double pay (which is usually spent right away).

You’re going to feel like you want to roll around in money

You may be eligible for bonuses, and these will be paid out depending on what payday the employer chooses – you will be told beforehand. You could also be given things such as a company car. Other benefits like paying for school fees (especially highly skilled migrants), can be given by a company. All of these contribute to your total salary.

So there you have it, here are just a few things to know about wages and payslips in the Netherlands. Got it yet? If not, maybe re-read it again about 6 or 7 times and then quiz the hell out of your boss, who may be toying with your wages. *Expecting all angry bosses to come running to us now, ouch.*

Anyways, don’t forget to join our DutchReview Facebook group for more cool, witty and ‘gify’ articles! 😉 



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