When planning a job trip to the Netherlands, you will probably come across the term “age distribution”. An age distribution pension is a legally regulated system under which an employer can (and unfortunately most likely will) pay an employee under the age of 21 a significantly lower salary. Some companies use your age as your age group when calculating your salary, while others use your exact birthday. It is worth checking carefully before you leave, what the minimum wages are in the Netherlands and what awaits you when working in this country!

Minimum wages in the Netherlands – what is the age distribution?

The growing rates with age are a solution that was created to encourage young people to learn, not to work. In addition, the authorities want this way to motivate young people to loyal and long-term cooperation with the employer. The increase in salary along with the increase in experience is to make people employed in a given company less willing to change jobs. There is also a widespread perception that older workers are better qualified and more responsible than younger workers, and therefore deserve higher wages. Working in the Netherlands – minimum wages in this country are usually satisfactory with a large number of hours.

For young people in the Netherlands, the current wage system becomes burdensome. Actions are underway among liberals to equalize wages. Most people find it outrageous that an 18-year-old worker earns about 45% of the salary of a 21-year-old who does exactly the same job! The minimum rates in the Netherlands are increasing year by year, so you can expect these amounts to be evened out in the future.

Age distribution in other nations

The equalization of the rates would also be very good news for thousands of young people from another country, who left for the Netherlands for work. The “land of tulips” with a wide range of seasonal jobs is also very popular among students who want to earn some extra money during the holidays. We keep our fingers crossed for changes in the Kingdom of the Netherlands! For now, however, the best situation is mainly older workers with experience, not necessarily qualified. But who knows what will happen next year?

Until July 2017, the full minimum wage was for people aged 23 and over. However, then the rules changed and people one year younger were already receiving the full rate. Another change took place in 2019 – the full age rate now also includes 21-year-olds.

Work for couples – advantages and disadvantages

The minimum rates in the Netherlands from July 1, 2023

We remind you of the basic rules for calculating remuneration in this country. In July 2023, the minimum rates revalued once again. If you want to start working in the Netherlands next year, see what payment will be guaranteed by the law:

Age of the employee

Minimum monthly rate

Minimum weekly rate

Minimum daily rate

21 years and more
€  1 995€ 460,40€ 92,08

20 years
€  1 596€ 368,30
€ 73,66

19 years
€ 1 197€ 276,25€ 55,25

18 years
€ 997,50€ 230,20€  46,04

17 years
€ 788,05€ 181,85€ 36,37

16 years
€ 688,30€ 158,85€ 31,77

15 years
€ 598,50€ 138,10€ 26,62

Seasonal jobs abroad – earnings, industries, countries

Hourly rates in the Netherlands from July 1, 2023

In the Netherlands, there is no one-week standard for working hours. The full-time job, depending on the work performed, may be 36, 38 or 40 hours a week. Here are the minimum hourly rates that apply from July 1, 2023:

Age of the employee

36-hour working in a week

38-hour working in a week

40-hour working in a week

21 years and more
€ 12,79€ 12,12€  11,51

20 years
€ 10,24€ 9,70€ 9,21

19 years
€ 7,68€ 7,27€ 6,91

18 years

€ 6,40

€ 6,06

€ 5,76

Days off and Holidays in the Netherlands 2023

Salary supplements in the Netherlands

Dutch residents are also entitled to compulsory salary supplements. Their amount depends on the employer, but usually they are as follows:

  • 125% of the daily rate when you work more than 8 hours a day – this means that if you spend 9.5 hours at work on a given day, you will be paid the basic rate for the first 8 hours and 25% more for each additional hour
  • 125% when you work the night shift
  • 125% when you work on Saturday
  • 150% when you work on Sunday
  • 200% when you work on holidays

Wages in the Netherlands

As in any country, our final earnings depend on many factors: our qualifications, experience, and language knowledge. In large cities, earnings will also be slightly higher than in suburban areas. According to data from our website, the average earnings in individual industries in the Netherlands were as follows:

Type of the job / positionNet hourly rate
Flower packingEUR 12-15
Printing house workerEUR 11-14
Production of cheese snacksEUR 12-14
Order pickerEUR 13-15
Order picker (cold / freezer)EUR 13-16
Growing flowersEUR 10-12
Greenhouse workerEUR 11-13
Warehouse workerEUR 10-12
Forklift operator EUR 12-14
Commision agent / order pickerEUR 11-14
Production workerEUR 10-14

Remember before you go!

  • Salary allowances can be cumulative!
  • When working in the Netherlands, you should receive a monthly salary list from your employer. The gross amount should be just below the net amount, i.e. the taxable amount! Check if all the amounts specified in the form are correct!
  • The regulations apply to all legally employed workers! Also for those who work seasonally!

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