In the Netherlands, citizens now have the right to go part time in their job unless there is "substantial business reason" justifying why they cannot. As a result workers in the Netherlands have the shortest average working week in the world (29hrs)

  • Short average workweek (29hrs)
  • Europe

4 Day Work Week in the Netherlands

Although the Netherlands doesn't officially work a 4 day week, it's the a norm for many people, especially working moms.

According to government statistics, 86% of employed moms worked less than 35 hours per week. 12% of working fathers also worked low hours compared to other countries.

Working Hours in the Netherlands

At only 29 hours long, the Netherlands has one of the shortest average work weeks in the world. This is partly due to legislation offering workers the right to choose part time hours.

Standard working hours in the Netherlands are from 9 AM to 5 or 6 PM, Monday through Friday. By law, employers cannot require employees to work more than 12 hours on a given day, with a 60 hour weekly maximum. Employees in the Netherlands cannot be required to work on Sundays.

Working hours in Netherlands vs other countries

Over the course of four weeks, an employee’s average weekly hours should be lower than 55, unless a mutual agreement between the employee and employer is reached to work more. However, the hours cannot exceed 60.

The Netherlands does not have laws that regulate overtime pay, so the rate depends on the contact between an employee and employer. Employees are only paid for overtime work that has been requested by the employer.

Vacation Policy in the Netherlands

Vacation time in the Netherlands depends on how many hours an employee typically works. Total hours of paid vacation is determined by multiplying the number of hours an employee works per week times 4. If a worker normally works 40 hours, they would receive 20 days of paid leave.

Any amount of unused vacation days at the end of the year are still valid for up to 6 months during the following year, after which they cannot be used. In the Netherlands, there is no option to cash out vacation days.

In addition to paid vacation time, Dutch employees enjoy 10 paid public holidays per year, and 11 every fifth year. These holidays are in addition to regular vacation days.

Part Time Working in the Netherlands

Part time work is very popular in the Netherlands, and part time workers have protections and benefits by law. Legislation passed in 2000 allows part time workers to maintain health care and other benefits that are normally limited to full-time employees.

61% of the Netherlands’ total workforce works part time, with the majority of part time positions held by females. 78% of the Netherlands’ total female workforce works part time, while only 46% of the Netherlands’ total male workforce works part time.

Remote Working in the Netherlands

Even before the Covid-19 pandemic, the Netherlands was one of the world leaders in remote work. Prior to the pandemic, around 39% of the Netherlands’ workforce sometimes worked from home, and by the end of 2020, this number had reached approximately 48%.

Many Dutch companies have started providing work from home stipends to support their employees’ remote work. Employees can use these funds to purchase materials to improve their workspace.