Unemployment benefit

The Unemployment Act (Werkloosheidswet, WW) is a compulsory employee insurance scheme under which employees are insured against loss of income if they become involuntarily unemployed. The Unemployment Act is implemented by UWV (the Employee Insurance Agency) and UWV WERKbedrijf (the work placement branch of the Employee Insurance Agency)..

Unemployment benefit is paid for at least 3 months and for no more than 38 months. Your unemployment benefit period depends on your employment history. You are paid a basic benefit for 3 months if you fulfil the weeks requirement. The benefit period is extended if you also fulfil the years requirement.

Basic benefit (weeks requirement)
If, during the period of 36 weeks immediately preceding the first day of unemployment, you were employed for at least 26 weeks, you fulfil the weeks requirement. If you only worked for one day during a particular week, you may already include this week. If you fulfil the weeks requirement and the other conditions for unemployment benefit, you will, in any case, be entitled to a basic benefit for 3 months.

Extended benefit period (years requirement)
If you fulfil the weeks requirement and you worked for at least 4 calendar years of the final 5 calendar years before the year you became unemployed and you received wage for at least 52 days during each of these calendar years, you fulfil both the weeks requirement and the years requirement. You are entitled to unemployment benefit for more than 3 months. Your total unemployment benefit period in months equals your employment history in years. For example: an employment history of 7 years means that you receive unemployment benefit for 7 months. The maximum unemployment benefit period is 38 weeks.

For the first 2 months, the unemployment benefit is 75% of the daily wage; from the third month, this is 70%. The daily wage is the average wage you earned per day during the year before you became unemployed. It concerns the wage from which social insurance contributions have been deducted. That is why, for example, a holiday allowance, end-of-year bonus, a bonus or allowance is included, but reimbursements (of travel expenses, internet expenses, extraterritorial expenses, etc.) are not. The daily wage for the unemployment benefit never exceeds the statutory maximum daily wage (€ 197 gross per day on 1 January 2014).

You can quickly and easily apply for unemployment benefit via the Internet. You should first register with UWV WERKbedrijf as a job-seeker. Please collect and check your details before applying for the benefit. If you have no internet access, you should visit a UWV WERKbedrijf branch near you. Here, you can use the computers at the Werkplein in order to register and apply for a benefit.

You can apply for unemployment benefit in the period between 1 month before the date of dismissal and 1 week after the date of dismissal. Please note: before applying for unemployment benefit, you should first register with UWV WERKbedrijf as a job-seeker.