Dutch authorities have provided details on the steps employers must take when pay for a highly skilled migrant drops below the required salary minimum because the migrant is on leave or participating in a strike.

In the Netherlands, Highly Skilled Migrant permit holders can drop below required salary minimums without adverse impacts to their immigration status if they make use of statutory leave, or their right to strike, on the condition that the employer provides notice of the drop in salary in time to the Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND).

In its recent newsletter, the IND confirmed that this applies to the following types of leave that are specified in the Dutch Work and Care Act (Wet Arbeid en Zorg or WAZO):

  • Maternity leave.
  • Parental leave.
  • Adoption and foster care leave.
  • Additional maternity / paternity leave.
  • Short- or long-term care leave

The conditions that must be met when an employee makes use of one of the leaves listed above are:

  • The employer must notify the IND of the statutory paid or unpaid leave. The employer must include information about the impact the leave will have on the highly skilled migrant’s pay.
  • The employer must notify the IND using the IND’s business portal or by the notification form for employment-related residence purposes (recognized sponsor).
  • The IND must receive this notice no more than four weeks from the start of the leave or the strike.

In addition, for leave under the Dutch Work and Care Act, the highly skilled migrant and employer must be able to demonstrate that the migrant is entitled to paid or unpaid leave. In cases involving care leave, the employer and/or migrant must be able to show that the care is necessary. Employers must document the employee’s leave, keep this documentation in their records and be able to produce the records if requested by the IND.

The IND also confirmed in its newsletter that pay for highly skilled migrants can drop below the required salary minimum if the highly skilled migrant exercises his or her right to strike. In such cases, there will be no adverse impacts on residence status on the condition that the employer provides notice of participation in the strike and the impact on the employee’s salary within four weeks. This notice must be provided through the business portal or the required notification form.

Analysis & Comments: Employers should be sure they have the internal procedures in place to meet the conditions listed above. Employers must be sure to document highly skilled migrants’ leave properly and provide records if requested. Deloitte is able to assist employers as needed.

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