In the Netherlands salaries are in line with most other Western European countries. Wages tend to be higher than in Southern Europe, and on par with countries neighbouring the Netherlands. The average gross annual salary is around €36,000 (source: CPB, 2019) with variations between sectors.

The average working week in the Netherlands is 40 hours. In many companies, lunch breaks are not considered part of official working hours (and therefore not paid for), hence if you work 8 hours a day, you are expected to be present between 8.5 and 9 hours, depending on the duration of your break.

Flexible working
The maximum number of hours you are allowed to work is 12 hours per day, with a maximum of 60 hours per week in case of shift work. However, during a period of 16 weeks, you are not allowed to work more than 48 hours a week on average.

In the Netherlands there are many ways of working flexible hours, ranging from part-time work of 3 or 4 days a week, to half days, or the possibility of working a shorter working week through agreeing on 4 extended days of 9 hours (totalling 36 hours a week). It goes without saying that this is subject to your employer's agreement and will of course result in a lower salary.

Accommodation costs
Even if you earn a high salary, you may not be able to afford to live anywhere you like. In the Netherlands housing can be quite expensive to rent compared to other countries, but this depends on the city and on how close you want to live near the centre. It may be worth looking at accommodation in the outskirts of the city to find a more affordable place to live.

Taxation in the Netherlands
While working in the Netherlands, you should be aware of the taxes you will have to pay. The first direct tax you may encounter when working in the Netherlands is the wage tax that your employer deducts from your pay on behalf of the Dutch Tax and Customs Administration (Belastingdienst). But there are many other taxes too, such as VAT on goods or services and car tax if you own a vehicle.

Find out how the Dutch taxation system works, whether you will need to pay taxes in the Netherlands and whether you might be eligible for a tax reduction.

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