Increase in minimum (youth)wage

11 Jun 2019

Twice a year, on 1 January and 1 July, there is an adjustment of the minimum (youth) wage. On 1 July 2019, the next adjustment will take place.

Ilse Baijens

Oftentimes the adjustments to the minimum wage are minimal, since the adjustment is merely meant to reflect inflation. The adjustment taking effect as of 1 July 2019, however, is more significant. This is due to the fact that the age limit for the entitlement to the adult minimum wage will be lowered to 21 as per this date. On 1 July 2017 an adjustment from the age of 23 to the age of 22 was already made.

Up until today, employees from the age of 22 are entitled to full/adult minimum wages. The minimum wage for employees between the ages of 18 and 20 will be raised incrementally.

When will the adjustment take effect?

As of 1 July 2019, the age limit for the minimum adult wage is adjusted to 21 and the minimum youth wage for 18 – 20-year olds will be raised.

As per 1 July 2019, the monthly wages as listed below will apply in case of a fulltime working week based on 40 working hours (not including holiday allowance):

15 years

€ 490.70

16 years

€ 564.30

17 years

€ 646.05

18 years

€ 817.80

19 years

€ 981.35

20 years

€ 1,308.50

21 years

€ 1,635.60

22 years and over

€ 1,635.60

On the website of the Rijksoverheid (Dutch government) you will find a useful tool allowing to calculate the wages of an employee in case that employee works less than 40 hours per week.

Compensation for employers

In some situations, it is possible to reclaim a portion of the wage increase through the compensation scheme ‘Lage-inkomensvoordeel’ (“LIV”, Low Income Benefits) or through the compensation scheme Tegemoetkoming verhoging minimumjeugdloon (‘Compensation Increase Minimum Youth Wage’). On the website of the UWV (Dutch Employee Insurance Institution) you can check whether you are eligible and what route to follow.


The increased minimum youth wage for 18 – 20-year olds does not apply to apprenticeships under the training on the job pathway (‘BBL’). These employees will continue to receive the current minimum youth wage.

For apprenticeships under the training on the job pathway, an incremental lowering of the age limit will apply for entitlement to the adult minimum wage as of 21 years of age, in which respect the employer may claim Low Income Benefits (LIV).

Please note!

As an employer, please ensure that as of 1 July 2019 the correct (minimum) wage is paid to young employees. The current minimum wages are always published on the Rijksoverheid website.


Youth wage

The minimum youth wage will be raised significantly for the second time on 1 July. This will also entitle employees aged 21 years the right to the full statutory minimum wage. This statutory minimum amounts to € 1,635.60 per month as of 1 July 2019.

The Ministry for Social Affairs and Employment published the statutory minimum wage (tools) as per 1 July 2019, in the Staatscourant (Government Gazette). The second step-by-step increase in the minimum youth wage (tool) gives employees from the age of 21 as of that date the right to the full minimum wage, whereas the minimum wage for employees from 18 to 20 years old is increased. All employees who are paid the minimum wage see their wages increased by 1.23% as compared to the minimum wage that has been in force since 1 January 2019. Social insurance benefits are linked to the statutory minimum wage, so these are increased with it.

Fixed percentages for younger employees

As of 1 July 2019, your organisation is obliged to pay full-time employee a minimum monthly wage of EUR 1,635.60, EUR 377.45 per week or EUR 75.49 per day. For employees aged 15 up to and including 20, fixed percentages of these amounts apply.

Pro-rated wages for part-time workers

The amounts in the table apply to employees who work full-time. If an employee works less, a lower minimum wage applies to that employee. If your organisation uses a full-time working week of 40 hours, and an employee works only 20 hours a week, a minimum wage of 20/40 x EUR 1,635.60 = EUR 817.80 per month applies to that employee.

As of 2018, the statutory minimum wage not only applies to employees, but also to contractors who are not self-employed without staff, to employees who receive piecework pay and in the event of overtime and additional work.