Working alongside your studies
As an international student in Holland, you might want to take a part-time job, just as Dutch students do. As well as helping you to cover your costs, a job can also give you useful work experience, help you make contact with Dutch society, and make it easier for you to learn the language. The position from which you will be applying for jobs will be somewhat different from that of Dutch students, however.
How do I find a part-time job?
The easiest way to find a job is through a temping agency, or uitzendbureau. Some agencies specialize in jobs for students. In Maastricht, you might want to try the following addresses:
- ASA Student temping agency, Keizer Karelplein 23, Maastricht, tel. 043-3213003
- T&E Student temping agency, Boscherweg 173-A, Maastricht, tel. 043-3101072
- Other jobs in or around the university are advertised in the vacancy database of Career Services.
You can of course also respond to advertisements or look for a job on the internet. Here are some internet addresses that might be helpful:
- ww.dutchisnotrequired.nl (upper right hand corner for English)
- www.studentenbaan.nl (in Dutch only)
Formalities and rules
Your position is different from that of Dutch students and you will have to take several practical restrictions into account, such as your lack of fluency in the Dutch language.
Certainly if you are enrolled for a programme taught in English and have not had to learn any Dutch, you will realize that certain jobs would be impossible for you. But even if you speak the language well, you will find that some jobs require the spoken fluency of a native speaker. In any case, before you even begin to look for a job, you need to know about certain formalities and rules.
Many foreign students will need a work permit in order to take up a part-time job. This depends on your nationality.
Citizens of Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, Estonia, Finland, France, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxemburg, Malta, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom:
You don't need a work permit. As long as you have registered with the Dutch Immigration Service (IND), you can be employed under the same conditions as a Dutch student.
Citizens of Romania and Bulgaria:
Transitional rules apply to people from the new countries of the EU. This means that you will still need a work permit.
Citizens of all other countries:
You need a work permit. Moreover, Dutch immigration laws restrict the number of hours you may work. You may either do seasonal work full-time (but only in June, July and August), or you may work part-time throughout the year (but no more than 10 hours a week). You may not do both. It is up to your employer or the employment agency to apply for your work permit. You cannot do this yourself. The employer can apply for it at the Centre for Work and Income (CWI), tel. 079-750 29 03. The application must be accompanied by a copy of your residence permit for study purposes, and by a document from your institution proving that you are enrolled as a student. It will take about five weeks to process the application.
The insurance system in Holland underwent a major change on 1 January 2006. The new statutory healthcare insurance is called the basisverzekering, or ‘basic healthcare insurance policy’. Dutch law requires that everyone who is considered a resident in the Netherlands or an employee must take out a basic healthcare insurance policy.
Students under the age of 30 years who are in the Netherlands solely for study purposes are exempt from the general requirement to take out basic healthcare insurance. However, from the moment you start a part-time job, you will have to take out a basic healthcare insurance policy because you are then no longer just a student, but also an employee. This applies even if you start a job for just one hour a week. You might want to take this into consideration before starting a job, because the basic health care Insurance might be much more expensive than the private healthcare insurance you have.
If you intend to take a part-time job on and off, make sure that you choose an insurance company that allows you to easily switch between private healthcare insurance and basic healthcare insurance. More information can be found here.
Social security contributions will be deducted from your gross pay. These deductions support the systems that provide disability pay and unemployment benefits. Your employer is obliged to deduct these 'social security contributions' from your pay before you get it. For a detailed explanation of your payslip, ask the human resource department of your employer. Furthermore, as an employee you will be insured against the consequences of an accident while at work. For this, you will need a social security number (BSN-number). You will receive a BSN number as soon as you have registered at City Hall.
Your Dutch income for the year is added up and you have to pay tax on the total. A scholarship you receive may be counted as income and added to the total. But Dutch law says that, in principle, a person is obliged to pay income tax in only one country. The Netherlands has therefore signed tax treaties with many countries, including all the EU member states. For more information about this rather complicated issue, you may contact the human resource department of your employer, or the Tax & Customs Administration's inquiry desk for individuals (Belastingdienst particulieren). The telephone number is 0800-0543, website: http://www.belastingdienst.nl/.
Agreements with the employer
Before you start work, it is wise to talk with your employer about all the formalities, such as the number of vacation days you are entitled to, your insurance cover, and the tax situation. It is also wise to inquire about the organization's own rules and regulations regarding the terms of employment.
Stick to the rules
Through unofficial channels, some students take on jobs in cafes and restaurants, for example, where the employer does not pay any social security contributions for them. The pay for such jobs is usually higher than for regular jobs, but you must realize that this practice (called zwartwerken, or ‘working black’) is actually illegal, which means you cannot claim any rights as an employee. And you will not be insured if something happens to you. You should also be aware that if you need a work permit and your employer lets you work without one, the employer risks a severe fine or even a jail sentence if this is discovered.
Although every effort has been made, no rights can be derived from this information. When in doubt, please double check the information at Dutch Immigration at telephone number 0900-1234561 or at their website at http://www.ind.nl/EN/index.asp