Salaries in the Netherlands: the ultimate guide to Dutch wages

Thinking of taking a job in the Netherlands? Good for you, that’s a courageous move and we’re proud — now let’s get down to business and talk Dutch salaries.

Did you know that the Netherlands is the ninth best paying country in the world? Yep, that’s a real advantage of life here. However, before your eyes turn to € signs and you sign that contract, there are a number of important things you need to know about salaries in the Netherlands.

Salaries in the Netherlands 

While the Netherlands may rank as one of the best paying countries in the world, it’s important to note that the amount that you get paid of course depends on the type of wage you are receiving. Let’s start with discussing wages in the Netherlands. 

We turned to the experts on all things related to working in the Netherlands — Adams Multilingual Recruitment. This agency does exactly what it says on the tin: help internationals based in the Netherlands find work!* But that’s not all, they also help employers based in the Netherlands to find multilingual employees! 

What’s the minimum wage in the Netherlands 2021? 

What may be a surprise to some, is that the minimum wage in the Netherlands actually varies based on your age.

As of July 2021, hourly minimum wage rates in the Netherlands are as followed: 

Full-time weekly hours21+ years20 years19 years18 years17 years16 years15 years
36 hours€10.91€8.73€6.55€5.46€4.31€3.77€3.28
38 hours€10.34€8.27€6.20€5.17€4.09€3.57€3.10
40 hours€9.82€7.86€5.89€4.91€3.88€3.39€2.95

What’s the average salary in the Netherlands in 2021?

The Netherlands boasts an average monthly salary of — drum roll please — €2,816 in 2021 or an average annual salary of €36,500!

However, life is often, well, not average — and the same goes for your salary. Depending on your job, your salary is going to be higher or lower than this number. 

Want a rough estimation of what sort of salary you would receive in different industries in the Netherlands? Adams Multilingual Recruitment has provided us with this helpful infographic.👇

Decided to take the plunge and find yourself a job in the Netherlands? Or in search of employees fluent in German, French or any other language? 
The team at Adams Multilingual Recruitment are the experts when it comes to finding work in a variety of sectors in the Netherlands. Contact them now for the hand-up that you need! 

Coronavirus and Dutch salaries in 2021

Employment is one thing, but when it comes to salaries during coronavirus, Dutch workers actually had a pretty good year. Perhaps to counteract everything else that went wrong during the past however many months (years? Who knows.) In 2021, Dutch wages actually increased by an impressive 1.9%! 

And that percentage continues to grow. For example, those working in the catering industry may finally see a much deserved pay rise due to a lack of workers in the sector at the moment. 

What’s the difference between Bruto salaris and Netto salaris

Once you’ve dressed to impress and knocked the socks off your Dutch employers during your interview, you will be offered a salary. 

But before you get too excited about the numbers, you will be hearing two different figures: these will be your Gross and Net salary — and it’s important you know the difference! 

What is Bruto salaris in the Netherlands? 

One will be the amount that you will get paid before tax and other deductions — this is your Bruto salaris and you won’t get to keep it all

What is Netto salaris in the Netherlands? 

Netto salaris represents the money you get to keep after tax and all other deductions. Picture one of those cycle bins that catch cyclists’ rubbish as they zoom by. Ok great, now think of your Netto salaris as how much money actually hits the back of the net and lands in your bank account. 

TIP: It’s important when discussing your salary that you are certain of how much Netto salary you are going to receive. The salary that your employer offers may be the figure before deductions such as tax, benefits, and your pension are taken — be sure to clarify this! 

How much of your salary will be taxed in the Netherlands? 

Now, after all that talk of Netto and Brutto salaries, you’re probably wondering just how big a bite the Dutch tax system will take out of your wages. 

In the Netherlands, there are two different tax brackets in 2021. Depending on your home and work income, you will be taxed a certain percentage. Let’s lay them out for you. 

Less than €68,508 per year37.10%
Above €68,508 per year49.50% 

What’s included in your Dutch salary? 

Yes, taxation is high in the Netherlands — but being employed in the Netherlands also has its perks — namely, a number of benefits. 

Holiday pay (vakantiegeld)  

In the Netherlands, you will receive at least 8% of your gross wage in holiday pay. Employers will usually pay this to you as a lump sum between May and June, however it can also be distributed a little at a time each month depending on your contract. 

Note: If you are an intern, a freelancer, or earn three times the Dutch minimum wage, you are not eligible for holiday pay in the Netherlands. 

‘The 13th month’ 

In any job, there is always the chance that you may receive a bonus. But in the Netherlands, some companies offer what has been coined the ‘13th month’ under certain contracts (spoiler: the better ones.)  

If your salary includes a ‘13th month’ then you will essentially receive an extra month’s pay! It is usually given before the holiday period in November or December and also equals to 8.33% of an employee’s salary. 

Sick leave

In the Netherlands, most work contracts will also cover you for sick leave. Under Dutch law, your employer should pay you 70% of your wages if you are sick during your contract. 

If you are sick for a long period of time, you don’t have to worry about your employer dropping you. In fact, under Dutch law, an employer should pay sick leave for up to 104 weeks of sickness. 

A great work-life balance 

Ok, this is not exactly a monetary benefit that can be found in your Dutch salary — but it’s certainly a benefit. In the Netherlands, a good work-life balance is highly valued.

READ MORE | The work-life balance in the Netherlands is the best in the world

Meaning that you’re not expected to bring your work home with you “as part of the company culture.” 

How to understand your Dutch payslip

Once you have found yourself a job and a salary to go with it, you may need a hand understanding that pesky payslip! And we don’t blame you. As an international in the Netherlands, it can be a bit overwhelming. 

Luckily, we’ve broken down all that difficult vocab for you. 😉 

Salaris PeriodePeriod of pay
PersoneelsnummerEmployee number
BSNDutch social security number
GeboortedatumDate of birth
Afdeling/FunctieomschrijvingJob role
Anciënniteitsdatum/Datum in dienstDate you started your employment
Salaris/uurloonGross salary (before tax)
MinimumloonMinimum wage
Verzekerd voor WW/WiA/ZW/ZvwSocial security you contribute to
Bijz. tarief/heffingskorting (ja/nee)Tax rate (percentage)/general tax credit (yes or no)
Gewerkte urenHours worked
Sociale verzekeringen (SV)Social security contributions
ReiskostenvergoedingTransport reimbursement cost
Totaal NettoNet salary after everything — what you receive in your bank account
VakantiegeldHoliday leave

All caught up on your Nederlands? We’re proud of you. Now there’s only one thing left to do:

Get yourself that Dutch salary

Now that you know all there is to know about your Dutch salary, it’s time to go out there and get one
One way to begin your journey is by turning to the international recruitment agencies. Upload your CV to Adams Multilingual Recruitment and they will help get you in the door of the Dutch labour market! 💪 

How have you experienced working in the Netherlands? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below!

* Note: Adams Multilingual Recruitment cannot provide visas to internationals who are looking for work. You must already be based in the Netherlands to benefit from their services.

Feature Image: Syda_Productions/Depositphotos

Sarah O'Leary 🇮🇪
Sarah O'Leary 🇮🇪
Sarah originally arrived in the Netherlands due to an inability to make her own decisions — she was simply told by her mother to choose the Netherlands for Erasmus. Life here has been challenging (have you heard the language) but brilliant for Sarah, and she loves to write about it. When Sarah is not acting as a safety threat to herself and others (cycling), you can find her sitting in a corner of Leiden with a coffee, trying to sound witty.

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  1. There is no deduction from your salary for holiday allowance. As stated, it’s 8% almost a whole month’s salary. But the difference in net pay is greater because, for example, you pay more for WAO (Disability Insurance).

  2. Hi!
    Are there any rules which state that every year the salary must be revised? Or does it depend on the agreement between the employee and employer?

  3. Hi, Shubham,
    There are no such rules and the employer and employee are free to agree on this. Most often there is no wording on this matter at all in the employment agreement. It can also be that there is a collective labor agreement (CAO) applicable which can be of influence on the salary increase.

  4. I see a term in my Dutch salary Slip that says, “Eenm. uitkering CAO”. Don’t know what that is. Could you help?

  5. Sorry for bothering. I wonder if you can help me with an issue. I dont know what is the “Verrekening” and I also don’t understand why do they charge me 104 euros. Can you please help me to understand it? Thank you in advance

  6. I wanted to know if there is any minimum salary thresh hold for chefs employed in the Asian catering industry from level 4 to 6 ?

    Thanks for advising


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