The term employment contract is regulated by law in Article 610 of Book 7 of the Dutch Civil Code. The text of the law article is as follows:

“The employment contract is the agreement whereby one party, the employee, undertakes to perform work for a certain period of time in the service of the other party, the employer, for wages.”

There are 3 points from this article of law that are important to you as an employer. Namely:

  • Labor
  • Salary
  • Authority relationship between employer and employee

The judge also examines these 3 points to assess whether there is an employment contract. This does not have to be recorded on paper. It can also be an oral agreement or can even be deduced from factual circumstances. These factual circumstances are also the starting point for the employment contract and are decisive, not necessarily an agreement laid down on paper.

The collective agreement

Many employers are party to a collective labor agreement (short for collective labor agreement). Agreements have been made in the collective labor agreement regarding wages, holidays, illness, notice period and more. In general, a collective labor agreement has slightly more favorable rules than the statutory minimums.

Paying salary

One of your obligations as an employer is to always continue to pay your employee’s wages. The employment contract stipulates when you must do this. With a monthly salary, it may never take longer than a quarter before your employee has received it. If you do not do this, your employee is entitled to an increase in wages.

Types of employment contracts

There are different types of employment contracts. The difference is mainly in the duration of the agreement (temporary or indefinite period) and the degree of flexibility (on-call, zero-hours or temporary employment contract).

The most common types are:

  1. Fixed-term employment contract
  2. Employment contract for an indefinite period
  3. Agency Agreement
  4. Zero hours agreement (call)
  5. Min-max agreement (call)
  6. Secondment Agreement
  7. Payroll Agreement

Temporary or permanent contract

An employer often first opts for a fixed-term contract. This allows you to evaluate whether the employment relationship was successful at the end. However, it is not possible to repeatedly offer your employee a contract for a definite period of time. It is legally determined that your employee must be offered a permanent employment contract after 3 temporary contracts or 3 years of temporary contracts. This is called the chain arrangement. If there is more than 6 months between the temporary contracts, the counting of the number starts again.

There are also a number of exceptions: The chain scheme does not apply to everyone.

  • The employee has a work-study agreement for a BBL training (vocational learning path).
  • The employee is younger than 18 years old and works a maximum of 12 hours per week on average.
  • The employee is a temporary worker and the contract contains an agency clause.
  • The employee is an intern.
  • The employee is a substitute at a primary school, in the event of illness of teachers or educational support staff.
  • The employee has reached the state pension age. An employer is then allowed to give 6 temporary contracts in a period of 4 years from the state pension age.

The collective labor agreement may contain other agreements about:

  • the number of temporary contracts that you as an employer are allowed to give (maximum 6 contracts)
  • the period in which you as an employer may give temporary contracts (maximum 4 years)

Therefore, always check the applicable collective labor agreement to see if it contains other rules.

What is in an employment contract

An employment contract contains the agreements between you and your employee. This includes the following data:

  • name and place of residence of employer and employee
  • the place(s) of work
  • position of the employee or the nature of the work
  • usual working hours
  • the amount of the salary and the payment terms
  • time of commencement of employment
  • duration of the contract (if it is for a certain period of time)
  • (possibly) length of the probation period
  • holiday entitlement
  • notice period
  • (possibly) (supplementary) pension
  • (possibly) non-competition or non-solicitation clause
  • applicability of the collective labor agreement

The lawyers of Arslan Lit Advocaten have extensive experience in handling employment law cases on behalf of the employer. For questions about what Arslan Lit Advocaten can do for you, please email us ( or call us on 020 223 24 66. We are happy to assist you.