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  • Writer's pictureJoost van Ladesteijn

How does wage garnishment work in the Netherlands? Top 10 insights

A mixing bowl with flour, milk, eggs, and other ingredients being combined to make a batter, playfully referencing the concept of 'wage garnishment' where a creditor garnishes an employee's wages through the employer.

1️⃣ Conservatory or executory garnishment

A creditor can garnish an employee's wages through the employer, depending on the situation.


2️⃣ Employer responsibility

If the employer pays the employee despite the garnishment, the creditor can demand payment from the employer.


3️⃣ Net payments

Garnishment only affects net payments owed by the employer to the employee, excluding statutory deductions like income tax.


4️⃣ Exempt amount

There is an exempt amount of roughly 90% of the social assistance norm.


5️⃣ Wage claim

The exempt amount applies to the wage claim. Once the salary is deposited, the entire amount is subject to garnishment.


6️⃣ Multiple employers

When garnishment involves multiple employers, the exempt amount is proportionally divided based on the owed wage amounts.


7️⃣ Priority of garnishment

Wage garnishment takes precedence over offsetting. Offsetting is not possible on the part of the wages that cannot be garnished.


8️⃣ Severance pay

Garnishment is possible on severance pay without an exempt amount.


9️⃣ Expense allowances

Garnishment is not possible on expense allowances provided by the employer that are not disguised wages.


🔟 Assignment and pledging

Assignment, pledging, or any action by which the employee grants rights to their wages to a third party is only valid to the extent that garnishment would be valid. Assignment of future wages is valid within these limits, provided the wage claim is sufficiently established. An assignment after garnishment does not affect the garnisher's position.

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