All you need to know about the minimum wage in the Netherlands and more

When you start a new job in the Netherlands it can be a challenge to understand how your salary is calculated, how much tax you are paying and how to read your payslip. To help you out we have gathered some general information to help you understand how salaries are taxed, what salary you can expect and what the minimum wage in the Netherlands is.

What is the legal minimum wage in the Netherlands?

Probably the most important question to ask is what exactly is the legal minimum wage in the Netherlands?

Minimum wage is the minimum salary that you have a right to if you are working. The minimum wage in the Netherlands is determined by the central government (Rijksoverheid). The minimum wage is based on age categories and is specified as an hourly rate. The following rule applies: the older you are, the higher the minimum wage that you have a right to. This is true up until you are 21 years old. Below you can see the gross minimum wages as of July 1st, 2024.

Minimum gross hourly wage
21 and older
20 years old
19 years old
18 years old
17 years old
16 years old
15 years old
*Information gathered from the official Rijksoverheid website -

Is the minimum wage in the Netherlands the same for expats?

The answer to this one is simple. Yes. The minimum wage in the Netherlands for foreigners or expats who work under a Dutch work permit is the same as for Dutch workers in the same age category. 

Gross salary vs net income

When we talk about gross salary we are not referring to the amount that will be in your account at the end of the month. The gross salary is the salary amount before the deduction of taxes. What is left over is called the net salary and this is the amount of money that will be deposited into your bank account.

The biggest difference between the gross and net salary comes from payroll tax. Payroll tax is deducted from your gross salary and consists of wage tax and national insurance contributions. This part goes to the ‘Belastingdienst’ (Tax Authorities). In the Netherlands you pay a minimum of 36,97% and a maximum of 49,50% wage tax.

Everything that’s left over will be paid out by your employer. Most Dutch employers pay out salaries at the end of the month. So you can expect your salary in your account around the 23rd, 24th or 25th of the month.

What to do if you earn less than the minimum wage in the Netherlands

If you receive less than the minimum wage in the Netherlands, you have the right to take action up to five years after you were underpaid. Your payslip should include information such as your basic pay rate and other commissions, as well as the Dutch minimum wage and holiday allowance for your age so you can compare the two figures.

If you are being underpaid, you should first speak to your employer. In some cases your employer may be eligible to apply to the Employee Insurance Agency (UWV) for permission to pay less than the minimum wage in the Netherlands. You should confirm this first before taking any legal action. You can take your case to the inspectorate SZW or a limited jurisdiction judge. It is advisable to consult a union, legal adviser, legal aid center or social counselor first.

Now that you know what to expect once you land that job and start getting paid, we hope you feel a bit more comfortable and prepared. Can’t wait to start looking for jobs in the Netherlands? Have a look at our other helpful articles!

Curious about living in the Netherlands? We’ve got all the facts and fiction right here for you! Having some trouble with your motivation letter, your CV or just curious about recruitment? We’ve got you covered.

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