Netherlands labor requirements

Dutch employment law is primarily regulated by the Dutch Civil Code. In addition, general rules are outlined in the Dutch Constitution and in a wide range of employment laws including the:

  • Works Councils Act
  • Working Conditions Act
  • Collective Dismissal Act
  • Collective Bargaining Agreement Act,
  • Minimum Wages and Minimum Vacation Compensation Act
  • Equal Treatment Act

Replicon offers a default, configurable pay rule that allows you to easily meet Dutch labor law requirements that apply at the national level. Note that our out-of-the-box solution doesn’t cover regulations defined by collective bargaining agreements.

Hours and pay regulations

Normal working hours

Full­-time employment usually ranges from 36 to 38 hours per week. Under the Working Hours Act, the maximum work day is 12 hours and the maximum work week is 60 hours.


Employees are entitled to a 30 ­minute break after working five and a half hours and a 45­ minute break after working more than 10 hours. Breaks may be split into increments of 15 minutes.


Dutch law does not provide a national standard for overtime. Premium pay rates are typically established in individual employment contracts or collective bargaining agreements.

Night work

The night shift is work performed between midnight and 6:00 a.m., for longer than an hour.

The maximum night shift is 10 hours, and the average night shift work week cannot exceed 40 hours over any 16­ week period.

A worker's next shift must start at least 14 hours after a night shift ends. If an employee works a night shift three or more nights in a row, their next shift cannot start for at least 46 hours.

Sunday work

Employees generally do not have to work on Sundays unless they give their consent.

Where Sunday work is necessary – for example, in hotels, restaurants, manufacturing, and health care – the employer must request permission from the works council to employ workers on Sundays. The employee must still consent to work and is entitled to 13 free Sundays a year, though collective labor agreement can provide for fewer free Sundays.

Public holidays

Dutch law does not require employers to give workers national or public holidays off, but policies on holiday leave are often established by collective bargaining agreements or individual employment contracts.