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Working in the Netherlands

This is important information for migrant workers in the Netherlands. Check your labour rights in Holland:

Check your salary

You should always earn the Dutch minimum wage (around € 9 per hour, depending on your age). 

Check amount 

I don’t have a work contract, can I claim my rights?

Yes, you can. But only with proof. Collect any possible evidence that you have worked in a certain place. Pictures, names, communication (whatsapp, sms, email), proof on paper. Keep record of days and hours worked, save working instructions and note down how much you got paid. You can use our worklog.

If you own a smartphone, you can register your location and hours with Google location.

Check if you are exploited at work

  • Did someone recruit you to come and work in the Netherlands?
  • Is the work not as promised?
  • Did your travel agent or employer take away your passport?
  • Do you have to pay off (large) debts before you can return to your country?
  • Do you not get paid enough or not at all?
  • Are you not allowed to see a doctor when you are ill?
  • Are you forced to work because someone is controlling or threatening you or your family?
  • Is your work dangerous or unhealthy?
  • Are you not able to move freely?
  • Is someone threatening to denounce you for being undocumented?

If you have answered ‘yes’ to any of these questions, you may be a victim of severe exploitation. According to Dutch law, you have a right to protection and support, even if you are undocumented. Please contact FairWork for more information.  

I am undocumented, do I have any labour rights?

If you are undocumented you are not allowed to work in the Netherlands.

But IF you do work, you have the same rights as Dutch workers or migrant workers with a residence permit, for example:

  • to earn the minimum wage;
  • holiday money;
  • holidays;
  • time off;
  • maximum 45h/ working week;
  • possibility to see a doctor in case you are ill.

Consequences of working without documents

You risk being caught and deported.

Your employer risks a fine for employing someone without the right documents, approximately € 8.000.

Right to a lawyer

In the Netherlands migrant workers have the right to a lawyer, but you need to pay a contribution which depends on your income.

My employer abuses my situation as an undocumented worker. He is not paying me and he is also threatening me. Do I have to accept this?

No, exploitation is prohibited in the Netherlands. In case your employer is abusing your vulnerable situation as an undocumented worker, contact FairWork for more information about your rights.

Support of FairWork

FairWork is an independent non-gouvernmental organisation (NGO) that supports women and men that are being exploited by their employer in the Netherlands. Any information that you share with us will be kept confidential. The support that FairWork offers is free of charge.

FairWork can be reached at phone number: +31 20 760 08 09. You can also send an e-mail to: info[at]fairwork.nu.