Unemployment Law

The WW (Unemployment Law) is an insurance for employees. The WW insures your income if you have been employed and are involuntarily unemployed. You must register as a job seeker at the UWV. After that you can only apply for unemployment benefits.


To be eligible for WW you must meet the following requirements:

  • Loss of hours: Your employment must be reduced with at least 5 hours per week.
  • Insured for unemployment: If you were an employee, you are automatically insured. As self-employed person you´re not eligible for WW.
  • Available for work: You are immediately available to accept suitable work for the number of hours that you receive WW for.
  • You became unemployed outside you´re own fault: You did not resign yourself without acute need and you are not fired for misconduct such as theft or fraud.
  • Least half a year working: Out of the last 36 weeks you must have worked at least 26 weeks.

WW application

You can apply for unemployment benefits at the UWV. You can apply for this benefit from one week before you become unemployed. Apply for the benefit no later than one week after the last day that you were officially employed. If you do this later, you will temporarily receive a lower benefit.

If your application is complete you will receive, within four weeks of the request, the decision about your benefit. If you are entitled to WW, payment immediately follows after the decision.


If you meet the above requirements, you are entitled to a minimum of three months of unemployment benefits. The first two months the benefit is 75%, then 70% of your monthly wage. The monthly wage is the average amount you earned in the last job before you became unemployed and where social security contributions are paid for. Travel and telephone costs are therefore not included here.

The duration of the benefit depends on the number of days that you received wages in the previous years. The maximum duration of the benefit is 24 months.

If you have not found a job after six months, all work is considered suitable. This means that after six months you also have to apply for jobs with a lower level of education, a longer travel time, less income or a temporary or part-time job.

Starting up while in receipt of unemployment benefit

Are you starting up as a self-employed on or after the day on which your unemployment benefit takes effect? In that case, with the approval of your work coach you can take advantage of the start-up scheme. You will then receive unemployment benefit minus 29% for a fixed period of 26 weeks. During this start-up period you can do everything necessary for your own enterprise: take on and carry out assignments, fit out a business premises, or open a shop.

No job after WW

If you cannot find a job when the WW ends, you become eligible for basic welfare.