Offering work to Ukrainian refugees

The EU awards Ukrainian refugees a special residence status. This means that they are allowed to work in the Netherlands soon after they arrive. Do you have vacancies, and do you want to help Ukrainian refugees by offering them work? Read what the current situation is.

Many Dutch businesses face employee shortages in the current labour market (in Dutch). And the hospitality sector, that had to close for months due to corona restrictions, still needs more staff. Offering work to refugees can be a (temporary) solution to the employee shortage. Around 13,200 refugees from Ukraine are currently based in the Netherlands (in Dutch).

Work allowed sooner

When you hire foreign personnel, there are rules and regulations you must follow. One rule is that asylum seekers are not allowed to work for 6 months after they arrive in the Netherlands. But the Temporary protection directive ('tijdelijke beschermingsrichtlijn', in Dutch) makes it possible for Ukrainian refugees to stay in the EU for 3 years without applying for asylum. And since 1 April 2022, employers no longer have to apply for a work permit on their behalf.

Rules and conditions

There are specific conditions (in Dutch) to protect the vulnerable group of Ukrainian refugees in the labour market. For example, they are only allowed to work as employees. The employer must also register the employee with the Employee Insurance Agency (UWV) no later than 2 working days before the first day of employment. This must include extra information, such as the type of work, working hours and the workplace. 

Read the latest information about procedures for hiring Ukrainian refugees and doing business with Ukraine and Russia:

Work permit

If you want to hire an employee from outside the EU/EEA or Switzerland, you usually need a special work permit. There are 2 types: the TWV and the GVVA. This last one is a combined permit: both residence and work.

Since 1 April 2022, a special exemption means refugees from Ukraine do not need a work permit. The Employee Insurance Agency (UWV) provides more information on the current situation and work permits.

Hiring Ukrainian refugees

There are several ways to hire Ukrainian refugees. If you need help, contact your municipality's employers’ service point (in Dutch). Do you have several branch offices? You can also check the website of the national service point LandelijkWerkgeversServicepoint (in Dutch) for a list of advisors per business sector. You can support Ukrainian refugees by offering them work via the Dutch Refugee Council (Vluchtelingenwerk) (in Dutch) website, or engage the services of temp agencies that specialise in mediating on behalf of Eastern European employees.

Offering work on a freelance basis

Do you want to offer a work assignment to a Ukrainian refugee as a self-employed person? If so, you must apply for a work permit (TWV) for them. Read about the requirements for registering a Ukrainian refugee in the Netherlands Chamber of Commerce KVK Business Register.

These employers hired Ukrainian refugees

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The Russian invasion of Ukraine impacts doing business with either country. What is the situation for entrepreneurs who do business with Russia and Ukraine? Read our dossier.