Changes to Dutch regulations in summer 2023
Each year on 1 July, a number of changes to official rules and regulations take effect in the Netherlands. From child benefit to pensions, stricter rules for landlords to charges for plastic takeaway containers, many of these changes will affect internationals living in the Amsterdam Area. Read on to find out more.
Work and income
The legal minimum wage is adjusted twice a year – on 1 January and 1 July. On 1 July 2023, the minimum wage for those over 21 rose from €1934.40 to €1995 per month for a full-time work week. The minimum wage for those between 15 and 21 years of age is lower. The exact amount depends on the age of the employee. A full-time work week is usually 36, 38 or 40 hours per week, depending on the sector and any collective bargaining agreements that apply. Find out more about the minimum wage in the Netherlands. Benefits linked to the minimum wage such as those for retired people, the unemployed and the disabled also rose from 1 July.
Changes to pension regulations
The Future of Pensions Act has come into effect. The law is intended to future-proof the Dutch pension system and brings significant changes affecting pension outcome, premium, recruitment and total reward package. A transitional period for employers and employees began on 1 July 2023, allowing a few years’ time for planning and discussion before new schemes must be in place. Agreements will be negotiated per sector for companies that participate in an industry-wide pension fund, otherwise employers must make their own agreements with employees. The new law also means that self-employed people will have to take out occupational disability insurance. Find out what the new pension act means for you.
The temporary tax cut on fuel no longer applies from 1 July, meaning fuel prices will rise. The government had temporarily reduced excise duty on petrol, diesel and LPG (liquefied petroleum gas) on 1 April 2022 to cushion the sharp rise in fuel prices. This reduction is now being phased out in two steps on 1 July 2023 and 1 January 2024. Read more about changes to excise duties on fuel and tobacco (page in Dutch).
The statutory interest rate that creditors can claim under law if they are in arrears rose by 2% on 1 July. The rate is now 6% for non-commercial transactions or 12% for commercial transactions. This means the maximum interest rate on credit also rises by 2%, from 12% to 14%. Find out more (page in Dutch).
Child benefit rates will go down by about 3%. This means a reduction in the quarterly amount by €8.06 for children aged 0 to 5, €9.79 for children aged 6 to 11 and €11.52 for children aged 12 and over. The rate is adjusted according to inflation as measured by the consumer price index. The new amounts will be paid for the first time in October 2023. Read more about the changes to child benefits.
The Marital Captivity Act came into force on 1 July 2023, making it easier to end a religious marriage through the courts. If a couple is divorced under Dutch law, this does not automatically mean that the couple is also religiously divorced. In such a situation, a person may be stuck in a marriage against their will, known as ‘marital captivity’. The new act is intended to prevent that from happening and means that both a (former) partner and a family or community can be prosecuted for marital imprisonment. Find out more (page in Dutch).
If your children are in childcare, you’ll be interested to know that some of the regulations governing childcare provision have been relaxed. From 1 July, childcare providers are allowed to deviate from the carer-child ratio for three hours per day, and they may also temporarily deviate from the ‘familiar faces’ criterion, for instance in cases of staff illness or leave. Read more about the changes.
Additional rules for landlords are in place from 1 July 2023. The rules affect issues including discrimination against and harassment of renters. The maximum amount for a security deposit has been reduced from three months’ rent to two months’ rent. The new rules also stipulate that a rental contract must be drawn up setting out all agreements made and that renters are fully informed of their rights and duties. Find out more (page in Dutch). If you have questions about renting in the Amsterdam Area, the !WOON tenant support agency provides free expert advice.
A ban on free plastic take-away cups or containers has come into effect. Customers must be charged for plastic single-use packaging on top of the price of the food or drink. Businesses can decide for themselves how much they charge for each disposable cup or container. No charge applies to single-use cups and containers made of 100% paper or other plastic-free alternatives. Read more.
You can find more information about other changes that took effect on the official government website (in Dutch). English-language information for employers and businesses can also be found at business.gov.nl and the website of the Dutch Chamber of Commerce (KVK). General information specially tailored for internationals can be found on our Live, work and study pages.
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