Hiring non-EU knowledge workers in the Netherlands

Hiring non-EU knowledge workers in the Netherlands

Against a backdrop of booming demand for scarce skills, particularly in areas such as finance, programming, cyber security and biotech, many Dutch companies are making use of the highly skilled migrant (HSM) scheme. A highly skilled migrant, also known as a knowledge worker, is a non-EU national who makes a significant contribution to the knowledge economy in the Netherlands. They are typically professionals, with a tertiary education, earning a minimum monthly income of around €3,300 (for those aged under 30) to €4,500 (for those aged over 30).

However, hiring skilled migrants in the Netherlands is not without its challenges. Firstly, non-EU nationals need a permit to live and work in the Netherlands. The hiring company also needs to be recognized as a sponsor by the Dutch Immigration Office (IND).

This process of becoming a sponsor or ‘referent’ with the IND generally takes a minimum of six months. For new businesses, it can easily take up to two years. One way of simplifying and streamlining the hiring of non-EU knowledge workers is for hiring companies or individual freelancers and consultants to use an umbrella payroll provider registered as "referent" with the IND, such as Blue Clue Payroll Solutions BV.

Our service enables non-EU citizens to get a residence and work permit quickly

Blue Clue Payroll Solutions is a specialized Employer of Record (EOR) provider, effectively acting as the employer of contract or temporary workers. We are now also one of only a handful of payrolling companies recognized as a sponsor by the IND. That means we can employ non-EU knowledge workers – taking much of the stress, delay and time-consuming administration away from hiring companies and individual workers.

How does it work?

Blue Clue provides a comprehensive service as an employer of non-EU knowledge workers. This includes obtaining permits for knowledge workers (and their spouse and children) from the IND. Each month, Blue Clue will also manage wage tax filing and appeals as well as deductions such as social security, holiday allowance and sickness benefit.

Normally knowledge workers qualify for the Dutch 30% ruling. This means 30% of their gross taxable salary is exempt, so tax is paid only on 70% of the gross taxable salary. Blue Clue will administer this ruling alongside providing annual income statements and transition allowance.

Will the HSM scheme apply to the UK after Brexit?

There’s still a great deal of uncertainty around Brexit. The Dutch Government has reassured British citizens currently working in the Netherlands that they will be welcome to stay. However, if the UK leaves the EU then the HSM scheme is likely to apply to British citizens coming to the Netherlands after Brexit, as it does to all non-EU citizens.

If you have any questions about complying with the regulations surrounding hiring knowledge workers from outside the EU, please get in touch. We are always happy to advise on the best options for Dutch employment contracts.