Salary & understanding your payslip

Salaries at Dutch universities, schools and research institutes are often set at a national level in so-called Collective Labor Agreements (CAO’s). The salary level is determined by the position, qualifications, and experience. The salaries listed in salary tables of CAO’s are pre-tax (gross). Dutch salaries are supplemented by an 8% holiday allowance (paid in May or June) and a year-end allowance is quite common (paid in December). If you perform well, or as expected, the salary will be increased to the next amount in the salary table until it reaches the salary scale maximum.

Calculating your net Dutch salary
The net salary is what you will find on your bank account each month. Employers tend to always talk about gross amounts. Below we explain what is listed on your Dutch pay slip. If you want to know how much net salary you can expect you can ask your employer to make a calculation (they often have tools for that), or you can check on the internet. The following website gives a good indication of what your net salary can be:

Understanding your payslip
Your employer must provide you with a pay slip which provides you with information about your salary. This includes information on how your wage is calculated and the amounts that have been withheld. The employer must provide this information when you receive your first salary. After your first salary you will receive a payslip each time something changes in your salary. Most employers provide online pays slip information in which you can see and download your pay slips continuously. 

Information on the payslip
Below is an overview of the items that need to be included on your payslip in Dutch and their English translation: 

  • It starts with your personal details in the top section.
  • Periode- This is the time period over which you have received a salary
  • Salaris / uurloon / periode / maand /year - This is you gross salary per hour / month /period /year (pre-tax)
  • Bijz. tarief / heffingskorting (ja) – This is the special tax rate (for bonuses)  and an indication if you received a  general tax credit (indicated by yes)
  • Verzekerd voor WW, WiA, ZW, Zvw - This indicates whether you are covered for or contribute to social security 
  • Datum in dienst - This is the date you entered your current employment
  • Burgerservicenummer (BSN) - Your Dutch citizen registration number
  • Functieomschrijving - This is your job description or job title
  • (Normale) gewerkt uren -  This indicate the number of your regular working hours
  • Brutoloon / Belastbaar loon / Loon / Loon voor de loonheffing- This is your taxable wage/salary
  • Pensioengevend loon - This is your salary for pension purposes
  • Loonheffing - This is the amount that was deducted for wage tax AND social security contributions
  • Sociale verzekeringen (SV) - These are the social security contributions
  • Reiskostenvergoeding - This is the amount to compensate transport and/ or commuting expenses
  • Nettoloon - This is your nett salary after tax, deductions and refundsc, this is what will be paid into your bank account.
  • Cumulatief –  Your cumulated salary over the months of the year
  • (Opgebouwd) vakantiegeld -  This is the (accumulated) holiday allowance

If something is not right
If you have questions about your payslip first ask your employer for advice. If you need more information you can contact workers unions or labor law lawyers for advice.

More information
FNV (click on the globe icon upper right and choose English) and AOB are Dutch trade union federations. They guard and advocate employees’ rights in matters related to collective labor agreements, social security, and pensions. They can answer any questions you have about work and income and help you if you have problems with your wages.

Also interesting for you: pension, 30% tax rule, Dutch work contracts.


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