NETHERLANDS – Minimum Salary Levels for 2014 Announced
The Dutch immigration authorities have announced the new minimum salary levels to take effect from 1 January 2014 for knowledge migrant workers (aka Highly Skilled Migrants) and Blue Card applicants coming to the Netherlands. In addition to minimum salary levels increasing, there is a change in the way minimum salary levels must be calculated and paid – effective immediately, salaries must meet minimum monthly pro-rata levels and must also be paid directly into the bank account of the foreign national.
Minimum Salary for 2014
The new minimum salary levels are as follows:
- Knowledge Migrants aged over 30: €52,462.08EUR per annum (up from €52,010).
- This must be paid in monthly instalments of at least €4371.84EUR/month (this amount includes 8% holiday pay).
- Knowledge Migrants aged under 30: €38,465.28EUR per annum (up from €38,141)
- This must be paid in monthly instalments of at least €3205.44EUR/month (this amount includes 8% holiday pay).
- Persons who have graduated in the Netherlands within the last 12 months: €27,565.92EUR per annum (up from €27,336)
- This must be paid in monthly instalments of at least €2297.16EUR/month (this amount includes 8% holiday pay).
- Blue Card Holders: €61,469.28EUR per annum
- This must be paid in monthly instalments of at least €5122.44EUR/month (this amount includes 8% holiday pay).
Effective immediately, payments must be meet the minimum monthly amounts stated above, which include 8% holiday pay. Payments must also be made directly into the bank account of the foreign national, and the onus is on the employer to prove that such payments have been made and meet monthly requirements.
Failure to be compliant with this new rule may result in fines of up to €12,000EUR per violation.
Frequent audits by the Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment (SZW – Ministerie van Sociale Zaken en Werkgelegenheid) are expected.
The new salary criteria applies only where the application for the regular provisional residence permit (Machtiging Voorlopig Verblijf or MVV) has not been made prior to 1 January 2014. For applications made prior to this date, the 2013 salary criteria apply.
It is not necessary to adjust salaries of existing Knowledge Migrants in the Netherlands unless applying for a renewal of the residence permit. The new levels apply only where an application, either for a new residence permit or a renewal of an existing residence permit, is made.
Per Diems and Allowances
Per diems and allowances may only be included if they are guaranteed and stated in the employment contract.
Market Salary Rate
It should be noted that salaries must also meet the market salary rate for the specific position. If the Immigration and Naturalisation Service (the IND) consider the suggested salary to be less than sufficient, they can ask the UWV Werkbedrijf (the body that provides opinions on behalf of the Dutch Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment (SZW) for an opinion. Additional justification for the salary level would likely be requested from the prospective employer. Applications which do not meet market conditions as adjudicated by the UWV Werkbedrijf will be rejected.
- Note new minimum salary levels for 2014 and note that payments must now meet minimum monthly requirements.