Different Types of Employment Contracts

If you are looking to work alongside your studies as a student at a Dutch university, there are a few things you need to be aware of. First of all, whether you need a work permit or not. Secondly, it might be a good idea to learn about the different types of employment contracts that exist. We have all the relevant information for you right here, so keep reading.

There are 3 different ways you can work, and 3 different types of contracts:

  1. You are employed by an employer.
  2. You work for a short time as a temporary employer.
  3. Or, you are self-employed.

Image of signing employment contractsWhat are employment contracts?

An employment contract is basically the agreements between you and your employer about the work you are doing. This includes things like hours, what you do for the employer, the amount of your salary, and other rules and agreements.

If the following things are true about a contract, it is considered an employment contract:

  1. You are employed by the employer (i.e. the relationship is based on authority). Your employer tells you what to do and how much to do.
  2. You get a salary for the work you do, usually in the form of money.
  3. And you are the only one working, and others cannot do it for you or in your place.

If you are not sure whether your contact is an employment contract, then you can determine this in a few steps. Have you worked for this same employer for 3 months or at least 20 hours a month? Then yes, you have an employment contract. Another factor is that you should be earning minimum wage. If you employer disagrees, they must prove that you don’t have an employment contract.

For a contract of employment to be realised, you need to either sign in writing or orally with your employer. It is strongly advised that you do it in a written form, because you can refer back to it!

What is included in employment contracts?

You must be informed about the contract in writing within 1 month of your employment, so you have time to review it.

Basic information included in a contract include:

  • Your employer’s address and your own address
  • The name of the place that you will work
  • What kind of work you will be doing
  • The date you start working (and maybe the duration of your employment if you are a temporary worker)
  • How many hours you work a day or a week
  • The amount of pay you will receive and when you will get it (most likely, when in the month)

Then, there is usually additional information like:

  • Amount of holiday days and allowance
  • Duration of a notice period
  • Length of probation period (supervision)
  • Maybe your pension scheme
  • CAO, if applicable*

*In some contracts, or for some companies, a CAO agreement might exist. This is a collective labour agreement, which means that the agreements listed apply to a large group of people. For example, it might include agreements about overtime, working hours, childcare, education, or retirement. The CAO agreements must be in line with the law.

Image of student workingWhat are the legal rules of employment contracts?

There are a few laws that your employer needs to stand by, because these legal rules protect you, as an employee. Therefore, they are important to know. Some of the many laws that apply are:

  • Minimum wage and minimum holiday allowance (you must be paid at least minimum wage).
  • The Working Hours Time Act (ATW)
  • The Labour Conditions Act (employees must work safely and healthily).
  • Legislation on equal treatment (there should be no difference in the working conditions between races, genders, those with disabilities, immigrants or migrants, or chronically ill persons, among others).
  • You must be paid your salary on time. If you don’t get your pay, or your pay is late due to negligence, you can claim an increase in your salary.
  • A payroll (or payslip) is mandatory. This must have the specification of the salary in the first payroll. If the salary changes, you must be given a new payroll.

Image of person signing employment contracts

In short, there are three different types of employment contracts depending on what sort of employee you are. You should always ask for this contract in paper, and should make sure you are aware of what laws protect you. Check out our other pages on labour laws like student insurance, work permits, and payroll tax deduction.