Guide to Doing Business
Maximum working hours
The Labour Act 1963 (Arbeidswet 1963) limits the maximum working hours of an employee. According to the Labour Act 1963 employees may only work for a maximum of 8,5 hours a day or 48 hours a week. Employees who according to the Head of Labour (Hoofd van de Arbeidsinspectie) solely perform security tasks, the maximum working hours are extended to 12 hours a day or 72 hours a week. Employees who according to the Head of Labour perform mostly but not solely security tasks, the maximum working hours are extended to 10 hours a day or 60 hours a week. A few industries, such as e.g. construction companies and bauxite companies, are exempted by national decree from the maximum hours rules described above.
The Minister of Labour may, under certain conditions, permit longer working hours.
The Labour Act 1963 furthermore stipulates that an employee may not perform work on a Sunday or on a national holiday. If an employer requires its personnel to perform overtime, it needs to request an ‘overtime-permit’ from the Labour Inspection. The employee is entitled to a break for at least half an hour after five hours of consecutive work, during a workday which lasts more than six hours. A longer minimum break can be prescribed by the Head of the Labour Inspection.