How to create offer letters for employees in the Netherlands


Jan 1, 2023

Found the right candidate for that vacant position at your company? Start the onboarding process by sending them a job offer letter.

When you’re getting ready to hire an employee in the Netherlands, an official offer of employment is an essential part of the process. In this document, you’ll review important details like salary, job tasks and responsibilities, termination, and more that you should include in the employment contract. It also serves as a reference point should the employee wish to negotiate with you over their pay and benefits. 

Here’s everything you need to send a legally compliant offer letter to hire a full-time employee in the Netherlands.

Netherlands job offer letter checklist

  • Position (job title), job description, start date, and trial period. Specify whether the employee will undergo a trial period (proeftijd) to determine their suitability for the position. Under Dutch labor laws, probationary periods for permanent contracts cannot last more than two months, and they must be concluded via a written document–verbal agreements do not suffice.
  • Working hours. Set forth the hours and days the new hire can expect to work each week, particularly if their schedule will deviate from the regular four-day work week. Remember: According to Dutch employment legislation, the maximum number of hours team members can work each week is 60, and daily shifts are capped at 12 hours. Generally, over a period of four weeks, employees cannot work more than an average of 55 hours each week; this number drops to 48 over a period of 16 weeks. Additionally, spell out company policy on overtime and how the employee will be reimbursed–financially or with extra time off. For more on working hours and overtime, read our guide to hiring in the Netherlands.
  • Compensation and benefits
    • Salary. Include information about the annual salary your company is offering the new employee and how often they can expect to be paid. Discuss any additional and relevant information, such as bonuses, in this section, including whether you offer the 13th month’s salary.
    • Pension contributions. Provide information about the company pension scheme, including the name of the pension provider, how and when to enroll, and anything else that is relevant to the employee.
    • Social security contributions. In accordance with Dutch labor laws, employers and employees alike are required to contribute to a social security fund. List the contribution rates for both parties in this section.
    • Coverage of additional expenses. Will your company be providing the new employee with a mobile device or subsidizing the cost of transportation? Make sure you discuss additional expenses like these in the job offer letter when applicable. Explain how much money the company is willing to put forth, and what the employee’s financial responsibilities will be.
    • Holiday leave. Specify the amount of paid vacation time the employee can expect, particularly if you are offering more than the legally mandated minimum of 20 days (four weeks) each year. Explain whether their unused holiday leave rolls over to the next year or if they can buy extra days off.
  • Confidentiality. Explain your company’s confidentiality policy. Make sure you include how long the employee is expected to keep information confidential, particularly after they are no longer employed by your business. Specify what exactly is covered under the confidentiality clause, as well as the penalties for breaking it.
  • Termination policy. Specify the details of your company’s termination policy, including reasons staff can be dismissed and how much notice they should expect. Dutch employers are legally prevented from dismissing employees without a valid reason for doing so. Justifiable reasons, according to labor laws in the Netherlands, include certain conduct issues on the part of the team member, taking an excessive number of sick days, and so on. Remember: Your company must provide written notice to the employee who is being dismissed, and in the Netherlands, the notice period directly corresponds to how long the team member has worked for the company. The notice period is one month for employees who have been with the business for less than five years. It goes up to two months if the individual has been employed for between five and ten years and up to three months for those employed for 15 years.
  • Flexible working possibilities. If your company has a flexible working policy, include it in the offer letter. Be specific about details like core hours and how the employee should notify their manager if they are deviating from the normal working hours on a workday.
  • Non-compete and non-solicit clauses. Specify whether your company has a non-compete clause (concurrentiebeding) and how long it lasts after the employee is no longer a part of the business. While non-compete and non-solicit clauses are enforceable under Dutch law and you can take employees to court if they disregard the terms of the agreement, the employment code protects workers, too. Companies that have a dominant position (they’re part of a field where they have either no competitors or no significant competition) are not permitted to ask employees to sign a non-compete.

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Disclaimer: Rippling and its affiliates do not provide tax, legal or accounting advice. This material has been prepared for informational purposes only, and is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for tax, legal, or accounting advice. You should consult your own tax, legal, and accounting advisors before engaging in any related activities or transactions.

last edited: May 22, 2023

The Author

Carrie Stemke

A freelance writer and editor based in New York City, Carrie writes about HR trends and global workforce management and is the Rippling content team’s expert on hiring know-how in Western Europe.