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 or if you worked less than ten hours, at least half of your working hours
  • Insured for unemployment: If you were an employee, you are automatically insured. As self-employed person you´re not eligible for WW. Only if you are self-employed for less than 1.5 years, you are insured for unemployment if you was insured as employee before.
  • 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.

You have no right to WW as:

  • you have another income, for example you are paid during illness or if you were assigned compensation by a judge
  • you find a job or a job is offered. After twelve months of unemployment, you must accept all work, even if it is below your education level
  • you are self-employed or if you act as an artist only at weddings and parties.

WW applications

You should register with the UWV on the first day of unemployment to demonstrate you are available for work. Then you need to apply for unemployment benefits within a week, which is possible form one month before your latest working day. You have to apply for the Unemployment insurance via www.werk.nl. For this you need a Digid and a list of all your (salary) data of the last year.

Within a week, the UWV will contact you. 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 daily wage. The daily 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.

If you have received wage for 52 days, in at least four of the five calendar years preceding your unemployment, you meet the year criteria. This is needed for an extended benefit. The benefit lasts for as many months as the years in employment. Do you have an employment history of four years than the benefit lasts four months. Do you have more than 10 years of employment history? Then the duration of the unemployment benefit is calculated in a different way. The minimum is three months and the maximum is 24 months.

If you cannot find suitable work in the field you worked in before within six months, you have to look for other work as well. All labour is perceived suitable after six months. 

Note: the year in which you become unemployed, does not count. You should be able to demonstrate how much you have worked in recent years. Use payslips, annual statements, income taxes, or the employment overview of the UWV.


No job after WW

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