What to Include in a Reference Letter According to Dutch Law?

After the end of the employment contract, upon request of the employee, the employer in the Netherlands is obliged to provide the employee with a reference letter Netherlands.

A reference letter, also called a letter of recommendation or just a reference, is a written statement by the employer in which they declare the period during which you worked for them, and include more information. During job interviews, some employers will ask you for a letter of recommendation from a previous employer.

What Information Must a Reference Letter Netherlands Contain?

A reference letter is a formal and concise document. It must contain by Dutch law:

a  The nature of the work performed and the working hours per day or per week
b. The start date and the end date of the employment contract;
c. A statement of how the Employee has complied with his obligations;
d. A statement of how the employment contract was terminated;
e. If the employer has cancelled the employment contract, the reason for this.

The information referred to in paragraph 2, parts c, d and e, will only be stated in the reference letter on the request of the employee.

If the employee has terminated the employment contract and he owes the employer compensation in that regard, the employer is entitled to state this in the letter.

The employer who refuses to issue the requested reference letter is liable towards the employee as well as towards third parties for the damage caused thereby.

Would you like to learn more? Read more what to include in an employee file in the Netherlands.