Many Dutch businesses face employee shortages in the current labour market (in Dutch). Offering work to refugees can be a (temporary) solution to the employee shortage. Thanks to the Temporary Protection Directive Ukraine, you do not have to apply for a work permit for Ukrainian refugees. They can quickly start working for you. Around half of Ukrainian refugees in the Netherlands have already found work.
Rules and conditions
There are specific conditions (in Dutch) to protect the vulnerable group of Ukrainian refugees in the labour market. For example:
- A business must employ Ukrainian refugees by giving them an employment contract. You must also treat and reward this employee the same as other employees.
- Ukrainian refugees must have proof of residence in the Netherlands. This is a sticker in their passport or a card (also known as the O-document). They must apply for this proof of residence from the IND.
- As an employer, you have to report the new employee to the UWV. You report what work the employee will do, where, and how many hours per week. The Netherlands Labour Authority uses this information to check whether you comply with labour laws. The new employee may start work two working days after registering with the UWV.
- Check whether the employee's passport, identity card, or travel document is genuine and valid.
Check residence status
For a small group of refugees from Ukraine who do not have Ukrainian nationality, the Temporary Protection Directive Ukraine will not be (automatically) renewed from 4 March 2023. Therefore, check carefully whether your staff from Ukraine have the right documents and can continue working with you after this date.
For refugees with Ukrainian nationality, the Temporary Protection Directive is automatically extended until 4 March 2024. They can work in the Netherlands until then. This applies to most refugees from Ukraine. The IND sends a letter to extend their proof of residence.
No automatic extension
Refugees who have permanent residence status in Ukraine or are family members of Ukrainian nationals must collect a new proof of residence from the IND. The IND sends them a letter about this.
Does someone have a temporary residence permit in Ukraine? For example, for work or study. Then the normal asylum procedure applies. The employee may not keep working for you. Read more about this (in Dutch).
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 employment 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.
Read the latest information about procedures for hiring Ukrainian refugees and doing business with Ukraine and Russia:
- werk.nl (in Dutch): Hiring foreign employees and work permits.
- IND: Ukraine: effects on stay or application for Ukrainians and Russians.
- Dutch Council for Refugees (Vluchtelingenwerk) (in Dutch): Offering work to Ukrainians, what are the rules?
- Netherlands Enterprise Agency RVO: State of affairs Ukraine-Russia: what is the impact on doing business? (in Dutch)
- Rijksoverheid (in Dutch): Permits for international staff.
- Government.nl: Work and income for refugees from Ukraine.
- UWV: Dashboard featuring stats about Ukraininan refugees in the Netherlands (in Dutch)
These employers hired Ukrainian refugees
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