Russell Advocaten if you are going to live and work in the Netherlands

Are you looking for a lawyer who speaks your language and who can help you getting settled and staying in the Netherlands? Russell Advocaten is an internationally oriented law firm with long-time experience regarding immigration, setting up a business, personnel, real estate, contracts and family law. Our lawyers speak and write English, German and Dutch.

Russell Advocaten is official partner of IN Amsterdam, the expat center of the Municipality of Amsterdam.

We can advise you, among others, on the issues below, but we can also assist you in legal proceedings throughout the Netherlands.


  • What do you need to set up a business in the Netherlands?
  • Can I start a business anywhere?


  • Are there any special favourable rules for me (highly skilled migrants, start-ups)? How can my employer help?
  • Do I have to comply with the Dutch employment rules if I take my own staff?


  • Can I represent myself in court without a lawyer?

Do you have any other questions? Please check the FAQs below or contact us. We will be happy to help you!

Frequently Asked Questions

Our clients often ask the following questions. Do you have any other questions or would you like to submit a dispute to us? Call us at +31 20 301 55 55 without obligation or send us an e-mail.

  • Work

    • Which law is applicable to my employment contract?

      If no choice of law has been made in your employment contract, the law of the country where you normally work will be applicable. If a choice of law has been made in the employment contract, that law will apply. However, the employer will have to comply with the mandatory Dutch laws and provisions for the protection of employees in the Netherlands, including holiday days and sick pay.

    • Based on what contracts can I perform work in the Netherlands?

      You can perform work in the Netherlands based on an employment contract. Employment contracts are subject to a specific set of rules, Dutch employment law. The employment contract must be distinguished from commission and freelance contracts (opdrachtovereenkomsten) and contracting for work (aanneming van werk).

      There are different kind of employment contracts. You can enter into a permanent employment contract (‘permanent contract’) with your employer. You can also enter into a enter into a fixed-term employment contract (‘temporary contract’), with a set end date. Upon reaching this date, the employment contract ends automatically.

      Furthermore, you can perform work based on other flexible employment contracts, such as:

      • An on-call contract (zero-hours contract, mini-max contract or on-call contract with pre-agreement)
      • An agency work employment contract; or
      • A payroll contract
    • What if my employment contract includes a probationary period?

      During the probationary period, both you and your employer may terminate the contract without prior notice. The termination takes effect immediately, thus no notice period needs to be taken into account. The employer is required to give the reason for the termination of your employment contract upon your request.

      Note: Your probationary period clause is null and void if this clause is not agreed upon in writing, exceeds the statutory deadlines and/or is not of equal length for both you and your employer.

    • What am I at least entitled to as an employee in terms of wage and holiday days?

      You are entitled to at least the statutory minimum wage. The Minimum Wage and Minimum Holiday Allowance Act provides for a statutory minimum wage for all employees from the age of 21 and a statutory minimum youth wage for employees between the ages of 15 and 20. Minimum standards are set by the government twice a year in January and July. Based on the aforementioned Act, you are also entitled to a statutory minimum holiday allowance of at least 8% of your gross annual wage to a maximum of three times the yearly minimum wage.

      Furthermore, you are entitled to at least the statutory holiday days, which is four times your weekly working days. Thus, if you work five days a week, you are entitled to twenty holiday days per year. Your employer is obliged to continue the payment of wage during your holiday days.

    • What types of care leave am I entitled to as an employee?
    • My employer wants to cut my salary, alter my working hours or otherwise change my working conditions: Is that allowed?

      If your employment contract includes a unilateral changes clause, your employer may – under circumstances – unilaterally change your employment terms. He may do so if he has a substantial interest in the change and if his interest outweighs your interest.

      In case no unilateral changes clause is included in your employment contract, your employer, in principle, may not change your terms of employment without your consent. Nevertheless, the employer may in some cases unilaterally amend the agreement. An employee must behave as a “good employee” according to Dutch law. If your employer makes you a reasonable proposal which you cannot reasonably refuse, being a good employee involves that you must agree to it.

    • How can I terminate my employment contract?

      You can resign from your job. There are, however, a few things to consider if you are planning on resigning.

      If you resign, you must in principle take into account the notice period. For an employee, the statutory notice period is one month. However, a different notice period may have been agreed upon in your employment contract. Please note that notice of termination is to be given with effect from the end of the calendar month. Thus, if your notice period is one month and you terminate your employment contract on 15 March, your contract will end on 30 April.

      If you have a temporary contract, you cannot always terminate your employment contract before the set end date. Premature termination of a temporary employment contract is only possible if this has been agreed in writing. If your employment contract, however, does not include a premature termination clause, you will need permission from your employer to prematurely resign.

      Note: If you resign, you will usually not be entitled to unemployment benefits (WW-uitkering), since  you are responsible for your own unemployment.

    • How can my employer terminate my employment contract?

      Employees enjoy strong legal protection under Dutch dismissal law. Your employer can terminate your employment contract in different ways:

      Tip: If your employment contract is terminated upon the initiative of your employer, he must usually pay you transition compensation.

Our lawyers for expats

Meet our team of experts for expats


Our offices

Russell Advocaten focuses on entrepreneurs, director and major shareholders, managers, supervisory board members, affluent individuals and expats. We will gladly assist you on all fronts in your daily business operations. We provide legal advice, mediate between different parties and assist you in legal proceedings.


Our hourly fees are in line with the market. Costs due to third parties under the mandate (such as charges, bailiff’s costs and court fees) will be discussed with you in advance.

In addition, we are prepared to agree on fixed rates for certain services. Following a personal meeting with you, we will determine whether your case is suitable for this as this concerns usually cases that are relatively easy to understand from a legal point of view.

No legal aid (Raad voor Rechtsbijstand)

We do not provide state funded legal assistance, what is referred to as “toevoeging”. You can find out whether you are eligible for a “toevoeging” on the website of the Raad voor Rechtsbijstand: www.rvr.org.


Expat news

Our lawyers regularly publish blogs, newsletters, articles and books for expats. We also regularly organize seminars and workshops. Below you will find an overview of our publications and events.

  • IT and ICT
  • Employment law and dismissal

What will change for entrepreneurs and employers in 2022?

21 December 2021

Like every year, 2022 will start with a number of changes in laws and regulations. We have listed the most important changes for entrepreneurs and employers in this blog.

read on
  • Expats
  • Employment law and dismissal

Female expats in the Netherlands

2 December 2021

Taking on a job in the Netherlands can be challenging for international newcomers in many ways, but especially for female expats: You have to get used to a new workplace, a different culture, and different customs. On top of that, the needs of your family have to be met. In order to relieve at least some of this stress, we will highlight the most important legal obligations of Dutch employers towards their female employees, including female expats.

read on
  • Expats
  • Employment law and dismissal

17 June 2021: Employment Webinar “Tricky sickness issues”

17 June 2021

If your employee reports sick, this may raise many difficult questions. What are your reintegration obligations during the sick leave period? What are you allowed to record about your sick employee with regard to the privacy legislation? We answered these and other questions during a webinar. Watch the video!

read on
  • Works Council
  • Employment law and dismissal

Works council

4 May 2021

Is there already a works council in your company? Are you a member of your company’s works council? What are the advantages of having a works council in your company? Jan Dop and Priscilla C.X. de Leede explain the role of the works council and give an overview of the works council’s most important rights.

read on
  • Expats
  • Administrative law and the environment

The Netherlands: Gateway to Europe

3 May 2021

The Netherlands likes to present itself as “the gateway to Europe.” And not without reason: excellent travel connections (Schiphol Amsterdam Airport and Rotterdam Seaport) and a highly educated population speaking several languages.

read on
  • Expats
  • Employment law and dismissal

Watch our webinar “COVID-19: Reorganization, Job Loss & Stay”

30 March 2021

We have hosted a special webinar “COVID-19: Reorganization, Job Loss & Stay” in cooperation with IN Amsterdam on 23 March. During the webinar, we discussed issues that employers and international employees face due to the impact of the coronavirus. Watch the video today!

read on
  • Expats
  • Corporate law

Doing business in the Netherlands

17 February 2021

Take a sneak preview of everything Russell Advocaten can offer you in the process and view our latest brochure: Doing business in the Netherlands.

read on
  • Expats
  • Corporate law

Abrindo uma Empresa na Holanda

17 February 2021

A Russell Advocaten trata de tudo o que é necessário para a abertura de um negócio na Holanda.

read on