How much can you earn while working in the Netherlands?

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How much can you earn while working in the Netherlands?


December 2019

Working abroad is a solution for all those who want to improve their financial situation. Poles leave for profit, primarily to EU countries, opting for a few months (seasonal) or longer employment with foreign employers in various sectors. One of the countries that are a frequent destination for Polish employees is the Netherlands.

Seasonal work in the Netherlands

Seasonal work in the Netherlands enjoys much interest among Poles. Such work primarily involves gardening, i.e. harvesting fruit, vegetables or caring for plants, often including flowers. However, Dutch employers are also looking for employees in the construction sector, and during the Christmas season in logistics centers as well. Such job offers usually do not require you to know the language or have specialized qualifications.

How much can you earn while working in the Netherlands?

In the Netherlands, nearly half of foreign employees are those who came to work for several months. One’s earnings in this country depend on the employee’s age, as well as are governed by CAO regulations, which change every six months – in January and July.
There are also two types of CAO, namely the minimum, where the arrangements constitute the minimum that the employer may offer the employee, and the standard. For the temporary employment sector the minimum CAO applies, and the employer can only deviate from these arrangements in favor of the employee.

Those who are at least 21 years old can expect the full minimum wage. Since July 2019, the statutory gross hourly wage as per one’s age is:

  • 21 years: € 9,94
  • 20 years: € 8,94
  • 19 years: € 7,95
  • 18 years: € 6,96

The CAO also specifies the working time, which is 38 hours a week in the case of seasonal work, as well as the percentage rates for overtime, which in this case are:

  • for work over 38 or 40 hours 135% of the gross hourly rate
  • for work on public holidays (including Saturdays) 150% of the gross hourly rate
  • for work on a holiday falling on Sunday 200% of the gross hourly rate

Why is the CAO so important?

Before signing the contract, an employee should make sure that the company they will work with is covered by the CAO Collective Labor Agreement; otherwise the working conditions may vary, usually to the detriment of the employee.
It is worth remembering that working abroad also involves some expenses – for instance, the cost of accommodation. If an employee travels to seasonal work, which they have found with the help of a professional employment agency, they can also expect assistance in organizing accommodation. Its cost is not excessive and amounts to an average of € 98 per week. When arranging an apartment on your own, you should expect higher expenses.

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