You can work if you registered more than 6 months ago in The Netherlands or with a permit.
Why Find a (Voluntary) Job or Work?
- You have to if you are able to and receive the aid
- You will meet Dutch and to have something to do during the day
- You build your cv, You will get positive references, even with voluntary work
- You’ll find a normal day and night rhythm
- It helps you gain perspective on your future
- You will learn the language faster!
When are You Allowed to Work?
- People that are registered for asylum more than 6 months (even when you still wait for your procedure)
– You can work as a volunteer or in a paid job.
– You can work for max. 24 weeks per year.
– Your work employer has to have a work permit for you, called a ‘tewerkstellingsvergunning’ (TWV) – in Dutch. He can apply for a TWV at the UWV organisation.
– Also for official voluntary work, your employer has to ask for permission. He will have to fill in a ‘Verklaring aanvraag vrijwilligerswerk’ at the UWV. This page tells him or her more about it.
- People with a temporary permit
– On your ID it says that you are free to work. Your employer does not need a TWV for your.
- Document about what is and is not allowed (in Dutch): Vluchtelingen en werk, wat mag wel, wat mag niet 2016
How to Start Looking for Jobs and Work for Refugees in The Netherlands?
Report to the organisations below that you want to have a (voluntary or regular) job. These organisations may be able to help you. Do not hesitate to contact them. The list below is originally from the website www.werkwijzervluchtelingen.nl.
- Tell the world, your network
Let everybody in your municipality or network know what your talent and wishes are, for example on the local community facebook pages Refugees in …
Find your group here
- Make a cv about what you can do – and if you have experience, describe it.
- Municipality (werkbedrijf)
- Local “uitzendbureaus” – employment agencys
They are called for example Randstad, Manpower, and there are many more in your municpality. Just go in and have a talk! Bring your cv and ID.
Through this website you can be connected to an employer. You can find job vacancies and a cv-database of the UWV. This site is in Dutch only.
UAF can help you with the process to find a job and to start your own business.
- Vluchtelingenwerk (VWN) in your municipality
They can help you find work and is in touch with local organisations. They also have information for employers.
- Dress for success
Voluntary organisation that offers clothing and practical support to apply for a job.
Can Refugees Keep the Money They Earn?
Have you found a paid job? Congratulations!
- If you live under COA responsibility:
If you earn money, COA requires you to contribute to your living expenses. You can keep 25% of the money you earn, and if you have contributed 555,-, the rest you can also keep. So in short: maximum you will contribute 555 euro. Which is not much for a room and food and health insurance.
– You earn 100,-: 25,- you keep, 75,- goes to COA
– You earn 400,-: 100,- you keep, 300,- goes to COA
– You earn 740: 185,- you keep, 555,- goes to COA
– You earn 1000,-: 445 you keep, 555,- goes to COA
– You earn 1500,-: 945,- you keep, 555,- goes to COA
More info and how to pay: ask your local COA case manager.
- If you have a house and you receive aid (uitkering) from the municipality:
– It the depends on the municipality and your situation how much you can keep.
– For example: in Amsterdam you can keep 6 months 185 on top of your ‘Uitkering’ or bijstand (aid).
– If you find a normal job with which you earn more than the aid, your aid will stop.
– 4 weeks before your job will stop, you can again ask for the aid (uitkering) at your municipality. So don’t worry!
– If you earn more than the aid, it can have effect on the extra money you get for the rent or health care (toeslagen).
TIP: do not spend it all immediately.
Help with Finding Jobs and Work
There are many initiatives that are there to help you find the job. You can ask at your municipality for the regional work agency. Often they provide coaches. There are also other initiatives or online initiatives that can help. Check some of them out here:
- CSR Partnership Van Ede en Partners (in Dutch)
Shows talent of higher educated refugees and help them reach their destination on the Dutch labour market and society. Coaching projects.
- Refugees Start Force (in Dutch, facebook groups per region and profession)
- Dit Werkt (in Dutch)
Increases your ability to find work.
- K!X works (in Dutch)
Offers help to refugees between 13-23 years old. Empowerment.
- Mentoring program
UAF initiative to help find work bij one to one coaching.
- Other initiatives? Check the website Werkwijzer vluchtelingen (in Dutch)
Work White and Pay TAX | Why?
Legal work: you pay tax and contriburte to social benefits. What is that? Why is it good?
- If you find a normal legal job it is good to take it for your cv and future and for being busy.
- If you work legally (white), you do pay tax and fees for social benefits.
- It is taken from your bruto wages.
- If you become sick you still get paid.
- If you loose your job unfortionately without willing to, you often get better benefits than the bijstandsuitkering.
- Some of you fear of losing the benefits (uitkering). Know that in The Netherlands you can always apply again for the “uitkering” a couple of weeks before your legal job finishes.
Do Not Avoid Paying Tax | Work Black | Why?
Illegal work without paying tax and without contributing to social benefits. Why is it not good?
- If the tax department finds out, you can get to pay thousands of euro’s as a fine.
- If you do not pay tax or fees for social benefits about your wages you work illegal.
- Often you get your wage in cash (direct money – not bank). This can seem nice but it is illegal. You can not put it in the bank.
- If you work illegally (black) you will not get vacation money (8% of annual income).
- If you are sick you will not get paid.
- You do not have right for benefits after your job finished.
- It is officially not allowed.
- You are not insured during this type of work.
- You can not put the experience on your cv, so what about your future?
Because officially you are not employed, you can not ask for a reference.
(Source: FNV Jong, Rijksoverheid)
City Connection and Jobs and Work for Refugees in The Netherlands
If you find work (paid or unpaid) and you receive a contract of at least:
- 20 hrs per week
- 6 months
and you do not have a social house yet, you can ask for a relocation or city connection in the region of your future work. COA / housing organisations will then try to assign you to a municipality within 50 kilometers of your future work place. In this case, also inform the municipality and ‘werkbedrijf’ for advice.
Here you can find a model volunteering contract.