New notification requirement for foreign workers in the Netherlands

6 april 2020

The Dutch authorities have introduced an essential change that will apply to foreign employers posting foreign workers in the Netherlands from 1 March 2020. As of this date, foreign service providers are required to submit a notification with the Dutch social security authorities (SVB) for each foreign worker who will be posted to work in the Netherlands. This obligation to report is part of the Dutch ‘’Wet arbeidsvoorwaarden gedetacheerde werknemers in de Europese Unie’’, or WagWeu for short, which came into effect on 18 June 2016.

The notification requirement applies to activities performed on or after 1 March 2020. The Dutch authorities has set up an online portal to file the notifications electronically, which will be available in both the Dutch and English language.

Who should report?

The requirement to file a notification applies to employers abroad and self-employed persons with a duty to notify from the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland who work temporarily in the Netherlands. This includes the following three categories:

1. Service providers

These are employers established outside the Netherlands and perform services on a temporary basis in the Netherlands with their own employees, multinational companies that seconds employees to their own branch in the Netherlands or temporary employment agencies that make temporary agency workers available in the Netherlands. During their work in the Netherlands, the employment contract with the foreign employee must be maintained.

2. Self-employed persons

A foreign self-employed person who temporarily performs an assignment in the Netherlands in one of the designated sectors (such as construction, cleaning, food, metal, care, window cleaning, agriculture and horticulture).

3. Service recipients

Parties that engage a foreign company or self-employed person to perform temporary services in the Netherlands, will also be required to ensure that the applicable notification requirements are met.

What should they report?

The notification contains information about the nature of the work, the duration of the posting and the work address. Also information about the identity of all parties involved should be provided. The obligation to report ensures that the Dutch Inspectorate SZW is given more tools for the monitoring and enforcement of the rules that apply to foreign employees.

Contact person in the Netherlands

Foreign employers are required to appoint a contact person in the Netherlands who can address questions from the labour inspection (Inspection SZW) about the notifications and the posted workers. In addition, certain documents (such as employment contracts, proof of payment to the employees, payslips, etc.) must also be available at the work location during inspections. The contact person must be authorised to send and receive documents relating to the posted workers on behalf of the company. The name of the contact person will also be mentioned as part of the notification obligation.

Consequences of non-reporting

The Inspectorate SZW checks compliance with the notification requirement and can impose substanial administrative sanctions if the requirements are not met. Not only the foreign employer can receive an administrative sanction, but also the Dutch client (i.e. service recipients) who is using the services from the foreign employer can receive a similar sanction if he has not checked the report, has not passed on inaccuracies or does not have a copy of the report. The notifications also need to be kept on the work location during inspections.

The WagWeu entails a lot for foreign companies that carry out work in the Netherlands, so we can imagine that you have more questions on this subject. If you would like to receive assistance from our specialists, please reach out to your local advisor, or contact Sofyan el Boujjoufi:

T: +31 882771329