The Inspectorate SZW checks whether employers comply with the Minimum Wage and Minimum Holiday Allowance Act (Wet minimumloon en minimumvakantiebijslag or, abbreviated: WML). The legal minimum wage and the legal minimum holiday allowance count as the minimum remuneration for work that is carried out in employment in the Netherlands. All employers and employees, whether Dutch or foreign, must comply with the rights and obligations attached.

Calculation of wages during Minimum Wage and Minimum Holiday Allowance Act inspection (for all sectors)

The Inspectorate SZW calculates underpayment on the basis of the normal working week, that can emerge from the applicable Collective Labour Agreement.

Heavy fines for underpayments

The Inspectorate SZW can impose fines on employers who underpay their employees. The level of the fine depends on the extent to which the wages vary from the statutory minimum wage and the statutory minimum holiday allowance. The maximum fines are:

  • EUR 10,000 per underpaid employee (in case of payment under the minimum wage);
  • EUR 2,000 per underpaid employee (in case of payment under the minimum holiday allowance).

The employer is obliged to pay the overdue wages to the employee(s) in question within four weeks of discovery of underpayment by the inspector, otherwise the employer will be ordered to pay a penalty of up to a maximum of EUR 500 per employee for every day that the overdue wages are not paid. The maximum level of the penalty order imposed on an employer per employee amounts to EUR 40,000.

Inspections and investigations into complaints and tips

During the inspections concerning illegal work, the Inspectorate SZW checks whether the minimum wages are being paid. Apart from this, there are also separate inspections concerning compliance with the Minimum Wage and Minimum Holiday Allowance Act and the Inspectorate SZW also investigates complaints and tips.

Complaints regarding minimum wages and/or minimum holiday allowance

complaint  of underpayment can be submitted to the Inspectorate SZW, if there is suspicion of an offence under the Minimum Wage and Minimum Holiday Allowance Act.