Working Hours In The Netherlands – Your Questions Answered

As an employment agency, we get asked a lot of questions about working hours. That’s partly because we have many international employees who are unfamiliar with the working arrangements here in the Netherlands. 

So if you’re new to the Netherlands – or you’ve been here a while and a question about working hours has arisen from your latest project – we’ve put together this information to help you. 

How many hours will I work?

In the Netherlands, a standard working week is between 36 and 40 hours, Monday to Friday. Most full-time employees can expect to work 7-8 hours per day, 5 days a week. Here at InAxtion, your hours of work are determined by the project and company you’re assigned. 

Can I work part-time?

Working between 12 and 36 hours per week in the Netherlands is classified as working part-time – deeltijd. Due to the shortage of skilled workers – and the high demand for technical people – in the country, most of the jobs available through InAxtion are full-time – voltijd. Many of our vacancies are in industrial settings that require people to work in pairs. That means planning and scheduling are based on both parties being present for the entire working week. 

Am I entitled to breaks?

Across the Netherlands, it’s typical to have a 30-minute unpaid lunch break each day. Construction employees in the Netherlands use the term schaften to refer to break time, and the area where you go to eat is called schaftkeet which translates as ‘cafeteria’ in English.

Am I expected to work weekends?

Under some Collective Labor Agreements (CLA) – work on a Sunday attracts a higher rate of pay. For that reason, some companies tend not to offer additional hours on a Sunday! However, if you are contracted to do maintenance work during the shutdown period, you may be required to work weekends due to the tight turnaround time. 

How long is Shutdown?

Shutdown usually happens twice per year, although this can vary depending on the needs of the business. Shutdown lasts between 4 and 6 weeks at a time. InAxtion often has vacancies for electricians, pipe fitters, and welders during this time. Interested in topping up your earnings? Keep an eye on our jobs

How does overtime affect my pay?

Your work contract determines how to account for overtime. Normally, you will have one of three agreements: an agreed amount of overtime as part of your regular contract (and covered by your regular salary); additional pay for additional hours worked; or time in lieu for any extra hours worked (so you get the time back instead of being paid extra).  

One thing we say to InAxtion employees is that overtime is not calculated as part of your usual hourly wage, so it falls outside the international agreement, and is not part of your net income – netto salaris. That means overtime is paid as part of your gross income – bruto salaris – and not adjusted by any costs incurred. 

If you’re an InAxtion employee, and you have a question about working hours, pay or anything else related to living and working in the Netherlands, contact your consultant.

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