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Difficult decision about moving to Netherland

Difficult decision about moving to Netherland

Old Oct 20th 2018, 1:48 pm
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Angry Difficult decision about moving to Netherland

Hi all,

Just briefly about myself - I'm Polish and I have moved out after my gratuadion to UK (approx. 4 years ago). Sice that I'm working in UK as Project Engineer / Product Engineer and gaining more and more experience.

Recently I had a very interesting job offer in NL in very big multinational company, the movement won't be difficult as I have already done it before when I moved from Poland to UK but there are few different aspects that make me think if it is worth to do it...

Currently in UK my salary is £31k nett + approx. £5k bonus = £36k
New job offered in NL is €41,400 + Holiday Bonus 8% = €44,712

I have very stabile position in UK with high class position (liasing on all levels with managers, directors, etc.). I actually haven't been looking for a job, someone found me on linkdin and that is how it happened
I was very sure about that position, but then I started doing some calcaulation and it looks like that even when I include 30% ruling (30% tax free) in NL, after all spendings I will end-up with same amount of money...
I thought that cost of living in UK is quite big, but it looks like that cost of living in NL is much higher than that... + you have to pay separately for your insurance etc.

Someone told me that his friend have a little big bigger salary than I have been ofered in UK and I will quote
"friend earns a bit more than that and she lives OK but she doesn't "drive a new car, buy at Supermarkets or get her clothes from fashion shops" (and she lives in the east of Holland which is about as cheap as you can get); nor does she drink, smoke or spend every Fri/Sat night in a club."

I'm quite confident at the moment and the only reason for me to change job is when I would have better salary, it seems like in that case better salary doesn't really mean having better standard of living - please correct me if I'm wrong.

After all consideration the things that are still pushing me to move are
-situation in UK after Brexit
-job in NL is very traveling driven (nearly 50% of your time abroad in US & Japan) and I'm guessing that is the way to get more money as you get paid extra allowance (still have to pay rent back in NL).

Do you guys have any advices and maybe your experience about that? I have read a lot of subjects and I know it was different several years ago when 1GBP was equal to 1.5Euro ...

Thanks in advance!
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Old Oct 20th 2018, 2:19 pm
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Default Re: Difficult decision about moving to Netherland

I have moved your post from the general Europe forum into the Netherland forum where you should gain more views and therefore more answers.

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Old Oct 20th 2018, 3:52 pm
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Default Re: Difficult decision about moving to Netherland

All I see is a train-of-thought summary, not specific questions. You need to tell us what is important to you, and from there we can answer. How you determine standard of living is different for every person. On visits back to the UK, I have found food costs to be roughly the same. People don't measure status here by the size of someones car, and cars are generally more expensive to buy so people maintain them well and keep them longer. Pub/club culture here is far more mooted than the UK although there are more social clubs based on hobbies or sports. I can't tell you that you'll save more money here, and if you're happy where you are, then stay. I would have thought that a multinational with travel would however give you better career prospects moving forward, especially working between the US and Japan as well. But work out what is specifically important to you, what you can't live without, and we can tell you if NL could offer that. It might also help to mention which province the job is located so someone local can give you more specific knowledge of that area.
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Old Oct 20th 2018, 10:31 pm
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Default Re: Difficult decision about moving to Netherland

My OH and I moved to NL over 30 yrs ago solely for a better job prospect as the UK was going through yet another recession at the time and manufacturing/ engineering companies in the North were bearing the brunt of it. Essentially we moved in order to actually have a job. My OH however was headhunted ,a little like you say you have been. On paper it did seem to offer a lot more money ,however living in NL proved to have many hidden costs. Let me just say that quite a lot of your salary gets grabbed back .On the other hand the opportunities to advance were far far better than in the UK. My OH was also an engineer ,would likely have remained fixed in that category in the UK,but ended his career as CEO of large Dutch company, an unlikely career path in the UK.
The biggest problem you will face ,and one you don' t mention at all ,is learning the language and culture shock. I don't know if your single, have a wife, family ? Its huge for most people. I am though assuming your single as you talk about the job being in the USA and Japan for 50% of the time. This is unlikely to appeal to a family man. As a single man you would most certainly benefit from the 35% rule for foreigners working in NL ( I think it covers 10 yrs) You would also benefit from certain allowances for working abroad. It would be virtually impossible to work out exactly the monetary value or differences between NL and the UK. What you should be thinking of is the value of opportunity. Will remaining in the UK offer such an opportunity for job experience in the future?.
Best of luck with whatever you decide

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Old Oct 21st 2018, 8:30 am
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Default Re: Difficult decision about moving to Netherland

Originally Posted by gras
-job in NL is very traveling driven (nearly 50% of your time abroad in US & Japan) and I'm guessing that is the way to get more money as you get paid extra allowance (still have to pay rent back in NL).
It would not surprise me if the construction is that each month you will spend one week in the USA and one week in Japan as business trips. And the remaining weeks you will be at the office in the Netherlands. Why do you think that you will get more money for your business trips? It is highly likely that the company will only reimburse you for your hotel and food spend. Often do Dutch companies not give you a daily allowance for such trips, but only reimburse you on the expense receipts which you deliver to the company. I think that it is unlikely that these trips will make you a rich man.
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Old Oct 21st 2018, 9:10 am
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Default Re: Difficult decision about moving to Netherland

Originally Posted by SushiFan
It would not surprise me if the construction is that each month you will spend one week in the USA and one week in Japan as business trips. And the remaining weeks you will be at the office in the Netherlands. Why do you think that you will get more money for your business trips? It is highly likely that the company will only reimburse you for your hotel and food spend. Often do Dutch companies not give you a daily allowance for such trips, but only reimburse you on the expense receipts which you deliver to the company. I think that it is unlikely that these trips will make you a rich man.

I think the OP mean't more in the way of opening up opportunities to him, rather than make him any money.I cam across many many ex-pats working in NL who were then 'headhunted' for jobs in countries they had worked in temporarily in this way. Its a stepping stone. The Dutch have always been willing to pay well for foreigners to help their business's What they were reluctant to do was advertise that fact at home. It was always an open secret that many of their companies were run by foreigners ( as was the case with my OH ) he was never given the credit or publicity for it though, The company only got into the papers once he left The new ( Dutch) CEO taking all the credit for the companies success. My OH was never mentioned. Its the deal over there.
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Old Oct 21st 2018, 2:27 pm
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Default Re: Difficult decision about moving to Netherland

Originally Posted by Red_Wine_Fairy
All I see is a train-of-thought summary, not specific questions. You need to tell us what is important to you, and from there we can answer. How you determine standard of living is different for every person. On visits back to the UK, I have found food costs to be roughly the same. People don't measure status here by the size of someones car, and cars are generally more expensive to buy so people maintain them well and keep them longer. Pub/club culture here is far more mooted than the UK although there are more social clubs based on hobbies or sports. I can't tell you that you'll save more money here, and if you're happy where you are, then stay. I would have thought that a multinational with travel would however give you better career prospects moving forward, especially working between the US and Japan as well. But work out what is specifically important to you, what you can't live without, and we can tell you if NL could offer that. It might also help to mention which province the job is located so someone local can give you more specific knowledge of that area.
Hi Guys,

Thank you a lot for your replies!

You are absolutely right here... I wasn't clear at all

What is important for me? - better living, succesfull career path and better salary of course... but currently I'm on that stage of my life where I would like to buy my own house and stop renting as I had enough (renting for last 8 years - university, then work in UK). I know that moving to NL definitely won't help with that but it may help with saving more money for the futher deposit for the house...

In UK I'm living nearby Wolverhampton - the area is not too bad, but there is nothing special with that places. I'm actually little bit bored over there after 4 years. I have a very good renting deal (I think) as I'm paying £450 per mont for furnished studio.
In NL the job is allocated in the area of Eindhoven - I have been there already and it is lovely city, I have spent there 4 days and it was brilliant (but I love London too - when I go there for 2-4 days... after week it's getting too busy for me). The chepest studio that I have found over there was €900 (nearly 2x more than in UK).

Currently I have very good relation with the senior management in my job, I guess if there would be free vacancy for the higher position then I would get it BUT the higher position is my manager and he won't leave until retirement.
New job in NL is actually level down / step back to my current position as I will be reporting to the other people, where in UK I'm managing the projects myself or chairing whole NPI projects. Anyway company in NL is I would say 10x bigger than the one in UK, so probably in the future there would be more opportunities for me.

I always count how I spend my money to achieve my goals, and currently the full breakdown in UK is as below:-
My salary without bonuses and after taxation is = £2,040
£450 – studio rent
£20 – phone contract with unlimited data
£20 - gym
£300 – food
£100 - car insurance + tax
£60 - car petrol
£xxx - other expenses such as going out with friends, buying clothes or accesories etc.

Also the very bad info is that my bonus is alway in December (just before Christmas) and my new contract in NL starts in December... It means that I wouldn't get for what I was working so hard for the whole year :/

In NL it would be € 2,464 (without 30% ruling) but I don't really know what kind of spending will I have You are right traveling is very good point, as I would see the other countries and the culture that is one of the reasons why I have accepted that offer.

Because I'm foreigner I don't know how Brexit will affect me / my job place and other aspects of me being in UK, that is why I was thinking it is good timing to change the country as noone know what will happen...

I'm still uncertain about that... I was actually thinking about speaking with my menagement in the current job and let them know that I would stay if they can offer me "payrise" or something but the thing is even if they won't offer me anything I might not accept that job offer and then I would lose "respect" if you know what I mean...
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Old Oct 21st 2018, 2:29 pm
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Default Re: Difficult decision about moving to Netherland

Originally Posted by SushiFan
It would not surprise me if the construction is that each month you will spend one week in the USA and one week in Japan as business trips. And the remaining weeks you will be at the office in the Netherlands. Why do you think that you will get more money for your business trips? It is highly likely that the company will only reimburse you for your hotel and food spend. Often do Dutch companies not give you a daily allowance for such trips, but only reimburse you on the expense receipts which you deliver to the company. I think that it is unlikely that these trips will make you a rich man.
It is slightly different. There is requirement for me to work for 8 month in NL and then for next 8 months on customer site. Company is paying for the flights, your accomodation and breakfasts + you get 40-80 euros per day as your food allowance. That is what I have been told, so I thought that could be option for saving some money as technically I wouldn't really have to spend my own salary (still have to pay renting for house in NL and other contracts).
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Old Oct 21st 2018, 2:37 pm
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Default Re: Difficult decision about moving to Netherland

Originally Posted by GeniB
My OH and I moved to NL over 30 yrs ago solely for a better job prospect as the UK was going through yet another recession at the time and manufacturing/ engineering companies in the North were bearing the brunt of it. Essentially we moved in order to actually have a job. My OH however was headhunted ,a little like you say you have been. On paper it did seem to offer a lot more money ,however living in NL proved to have many hidden costs. Let me just say that quite a lot of your salary gets grabbed back .On the other hand the opportunities to advance were far far better than in the UK. My OH was also an engineer ,would likely have remained fixed in that category in the UK,but ended his career as CEO of large Dutch company, an unlikely career path in the UK.
The biggest problem you will face ,and one you don' t mention at all ,is learning the language and culture shock. I don't know if your single, have a wife, family ? Its huge for most people. I am though assuming your single as you talk about the job being in the USA and Japan for 50% of the time. This is unlikely to appeal to a family man. As a single man you would most certainly benefit from the 35% rule for foreigners working in NL ( I think it covers 10 yrs) You would also benefit from certain allowances for working abroad. It would be virtually impossible to work out exactly the monetary value or differences between NL and the UK. What you should be thinking of is the value of opportunity. Will remaining in the UK offer such an opportunity for job experience in the future?.
Best of luck with whatever you decide
Thank you very much for your reply.
That is very difficult question... It might be, but I can not be sure... Both of the companies are well known multinational corporations, where one in NL is much bigger and I think would offer much more opportunities.
I think that I have problem with moving, because I'm secured here in UK - I mean that I know the place, I know the costs, I know where to go and have a friends around + I wasn't looking for a job at all, I was headhounted via social network website.
Deep im my heart I thought that when I will change country again it will be moving back to Poland ... Also there is too many things going around me and I can't really focuse and make the final decision :/
There is a lot of pros and cons about the new job... same think with staying in UK ... I feel that I just don't want to make a wrong decision and make my living harder, because of that move.
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Old Oct 22nd 2018, 8:18 am
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Default Re: Difficult decision about moving to Netherland

Originally Posted by gras
In UK I'm living nearby Wolverhampton - the area is not too bad, but there is nothing special with that places. I'm actually little bit bored over there after 4 years. I have a very good renting deal (I think) as I'm paying £450 per mont for furnished studio.
In NL the job is allocated in the area of Eindhoven - I have been there already and it is lovely city, I have spent there 4 days and it was brilliant (but I love London too - when I go there for 2-4 days... after week it's getting too busy for me). The chepest studio that I have found over there was €900 (nearly 2x more than in UK).
The Eindhoven region is indeed very expensive, in terms of house/studio rent, because there are so many expats living there and the available units are limited.
This website might give you an indication of the cost of living in Eindhoven: https://www.numbeo.com/cost-of-living/in/Eindhoven
I haven't verified the accuracy though.

Last edited by SushiFan; Oct 22nd 2018 at 8:23 am.
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Old Oct 22nd 2018, 8:23 am
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Default Re: Difficult decision about moving to Netherland

Originally Posted by gras
It is slightly different. There is requirement for me to work for 8 month in NL and then for next 8 months on customer site. Company is paying for the flights, your accomodation and breakfasts + you get 40-80 euros per day as your food allowance. That is what I have been told, so I thought that could be option for saving some money as technically I wouldn't really have to spend my own salary (still have to pay renting for house in NL and other contracts).
40-80 euros per day as food money won't get you very far in Tokyo. You will easily spend 1000 Yen for lunch and 3000 Yen for dinner, without drinks. Local transportation might also be costly. In other words: on paper it may seem like that you are saving money, but in reality I doubt it. On the other hand, getting the experience of living and working for a while in another country and culture is very valuable and may bring you benefits later in life.
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Old Oct 22nd 2018, 7:21 pm
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Default Re: Difficult decision about moving to Netherland

Originally Posted by SushiFan
It would not surprise me if the construction is that each month you will spend one week in the USA and one week in Japan as business trips. And the remaining weeks you will be at the office in the Netherlands. Why do you think that you will get more money for your business trips? It is highly likely that the company will only reimburse you for your hotel and food spend. Often do Dutch companies not give you a daily allowance for such trips, but only reimburse you on the expense receipts which you deliver to the company. I think that it is unlikely that these trips will make you a rich man.
I'm not sure where you worked in NL, sushifan, but both my husband and I work for multinationals (his US based and mine NL based), and so long as you are not there as a self-employed contractor, ALL travel (flights, hotels, meals allowance) are reimbursed. I don't think gras was thinking of getting rich of his expense account - who in the world does??? - he was talking about his job and what it entails, and as a separate matter, mentioned saving. I am with you about the hidden costs, but even as a family of six, when only one of us was working at any given moment, we saved more than we ever did in the UK. Perhaps it makes you street smart, being out of your comfort zone here, minimal grasp of language in the early days, being stung once or twice by those who'd separate an expat from their money?
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Old Oct 22nd 2018, 7:45 pm
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Default Re: Difficult decision about moving to Netherland

My answers in purple...

Originally Posted by gras
Hi Guys,

Thank you a lot for your replies! You are absolutely right here... I wasn't clear at all

What is important for me? - better living, successful career path and better salary of course... but currently I'm on that stage of my life where I would like to buy my own house and stop renting as I had enough (renting for last 8 years - university, then work in UK). I know that moving to NL definitely won't help with that but it may help with saving more money for the futher deposit for the house...

You can get a fair idea about house prices from Funda.nl. Eindhoven and it's suburbs are cheaper than here in the West, but I would still recommend 12 months renting just so you can look around and not buy in the wrong area. Finding out from colleagues what works for them is invaluable. I still think NL is a great stepping stone in a career. We can only guess where you will work as one company owns the entire city, if you know what I mean, in some capacity Your mortgage will depend on your contract too - and your expected permanence in the country - the banks like permanent contracts, are you being offered this? You don't have to tell me, just the mortgage lender. Minimal deposit for a house here; 95+% is still available plus your legal fees/stamp duty.

In UK I'm living nearby Wolverhampton - the area is not too bad, but there is nothing special with that places. I'm actually little bit bored over there after 4 years. I have a very good renting deal (I think) as I'm paying £450 per mont for furnished studio.
In NL the job is allocated in the area of Eindhoven - I have been there already and it is lovely city, I have spent there 4 days and it was brilliant (but I love London too - when I go there for 2-4 days... after week it's getting too busy for me). The chepest studio that I have found over there was €900 (nearly 2x more than in UK).

In the UK you get what you're given, when it comes to job offers. Here, you negotiate. Ask for 10 things - they can only say no, but are likely to say no to only half. Ask for makelaar (estate agent) assistance as part of the deal, or help to find a place - or even (it's not unheard of!) a month's accommodation up front. They can only say no - often they say yes. Considering estate agents will laugh and hang up if you try to call from the UK, this will give you breathing space to view rentals in the evening which are affordable - and to use the grapevine at work because most affordable properties are gone fast, via word of mouth


Currently I have very good relation with the senior management in my job, I guess if there would be free vacancy for the higher position then I would get it BUT the higher position is my manager and he won't leave until retirement.
New job in NL is actually level down / step back to my current position as I will be reporting to the other people, where in UK I'm managing the projects myself or chairing whole NPI projects. Anyway company in NL is I would say 10x bigger than the one in UK, so probably in the future there would be more opportunities for me.

Not a question - I think you just gave yourself a plus point for NL?


I always count how I spend my money to achieve my goals, and currently the full breakdown in UK is as below:-
My salary without bonuses and after taxation is = £2,040
£450 – studio rent
£20 – phone contract with unlimited data
£20 - gym
£300 – food
£100 - car insurance + tax
£60 - car petrol
£xxx - other expenses such as going out with friends, buying clothes or accessories etc.

What you can do is ask your potential Dutch HR for a dummy salary slip so you know exactly what you're paying for. Did you ask them to make (or subcontract out) your 30% ruling? This will make a difference and you will see it on your dummy payslip (ask for 2, one if you get and one if you don't get the ruling). You can get an unlimited 'everything' on your mobile for 25 euros (my son has it). Cheapest gyms are 15 per month (if you don't want fancy swimming pools, etc). food similar, Car - depends on what you want, insurance is much cheaper, tax is more expensive, so it balances. Petrol almost identical, I think. As I said, people don't party quite as hard as in the UK, and rarely eat out, but that might depend from workplace to workplace, so there you might save.

Also the very bad info is that my bonus is always in December (just before Christmas) and my new contract in NL starts in December... It means that I wouldn't get for what I was working so hard for the whole year :/

I think they'd be obliged to pay you 11/12ths no? Same as if you have holidays owing? Read your current contract. Contact citizens advice for someone who knows employment law.

In NL it would be € 2,464 (without 30% ruling) but I don't really know what kind of spending will I have You are right travelling is very good point, as I would see the other countries and the culture that is one of the reasons why I have accepted that offer.

However you define qualify of life... travelling has to come high. Not only will you find inspirational people from all around the world in a multinational, you are an hour or two away from Germany, Belgium, France... and the night trains all over Europe?


Because I'm foreigner I don't know how Brexit will affect me / my job place and other aspects of me being in UK, that is why I was thinking it is good timing to change the country as noone know what will happen...

I can't help you there - I have my own demons to fight, sadly. With an EU passport, you will be more valuable to an employer here than a Brit

I'm still uncertain about that... I was actually thinking about speaking with my management in the current job and let them know that I would stay if they can offer me "payrise" or something but the thing is even if they won't offer me anything I might not accept that job offer and then I would lose "respect" if you know what I mean...
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Old Oct 22nd 2018, 8:26 pm
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Default Re: Difficult decision about moving to Netherland

......... (nearly 50% of your time abroad in US & Japan)

............. There is requirement for me to work for 8 month in NL and then for next 8 months on customer site.


You can't work in the US without a work visa. Visiting the US on a business trip (we are talking a few weeks here, certainly not months) does not require a visa, but working on a customer site certainly does. Have you discussed this with the company?
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Old Oct 23rd 2018, 8:03 pm
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Default Re: Difficult decision about moving to Netherland

Thank you everyone for the feedback. I have recieved some feedback from my existing employer that they can potentially "match" my salaries + promote me to the higher position and change my company band to the highest band (just below managers). I had a chat with my mate who is working currently over there and what he actually said to me is he had a conversation with other people who are working there and they estimated total nett salary is approx 60k euro (when you apply 30% ruling, 8% bonus, traveling allowance - as you have all inclusive hotels, so whole allowance goes to your pocket, also they said that you can claim travel points and hotel points and people who work there claim over 10k euros in points per year :O) - I was shocked...

The second aspect is quite critical... it is related to my partner, that job is not good at all for relationship - I know that and she knows it as well, so it can damage our love I have a very important question which is related to it... My partner had a breast cancer year ago, she is fully cured and has no more cancer symptons. Could anyone advise how does it work with insurance in NL if she would come with me? If she won't find a job and just apply for the insurance will she be covered? She will try to find a job as soon as she comes, but it may take a while... Is is more expensive to insure person who had a cancer before? Does the insurance companies accept people who had a cancer ? I don't know where to find the information - I have searched everywhere I will have to call insurance company directly and ask, but maybe someone can advice?! Thank you.
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