Job offer- uprooting family

Old Feb 3rd 2018, 10:01 pm
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Red face Job offer- uprooting family

Hi everyone!
I’m new here and I’m all a little overwhelmed so please forgive my ignorance and some questions which will probably come across as massively uneducated!

My partner has been offered a job in NL. It comes with a lot of benefits, health cover, help with schools, help finding accommodation on top of a relocation payout etc. The salary is a starting salary of €45k, which is a big step from his current annual pay here in the UK.
Things that concern me, first and foremost, is the tax system. I’ve done my best to research this and calculate it and I just can’t get my head around it. Is anyone able to explain to me in a simple, non-confusing way!? What circumstances are there for these tax rebates I’ve read about? How does it compare to what I’m used to?
Health care: by the time we’d be relocating, we’d have a 4yo son and a few months old daughter. The health care package offered covers the whole family but is there anything I should be aware of from the outset?

Is there just any general information that you would lay out to a naive expat? Am I looking at this move through rose tinted specs? Could it be awful? I’ve lived Inn france and my partner is German so we’ve both lived abroad, but not NL.

Thanks in advance for anyone willing to help us adult a bit better
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Old Feb 4th 2018, 11:26 am
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Default Re: Job offer- uprooting family

First step is to read some resources for incomers. I would advise: (self explanatory, takes you through officialdom, straight from the horse's mouth) (less formal, but aimed at a specific area and *cough* a specific socio-economic group.)
Recent changes to the tax system are discussed here

It is perfectly normal to ask the new HR department to run a dummy payslip, so that you can see how much of that gross salary will actually end up in your bank account each month: this will give you the exact figure you need to do your monthly budgeting. For a very rough estimate, use a bruto/netto calculator such as, but this won't take into account specific benefits or deductions so has the potential to be way off, for people with perks.

Tax is complicated and I would advise you to look for a reasonably priced advisor to complete and file your first year tax return at least - or, ask your husband to request this benefit as part of the job offer fro HR (we did: got the first 3 years' tax returns done for us). Once you have lived here for 6 months and if you haven't worked in the time, you should be able to claim a rebate from the tax authorities (it's roughly 200 per month) when it's time to do the return. Other rebates tend to be only for those with mortgages, or those on low wages who get help with health insurance and rent rebates.

I would also employ the Dutch directness you will need to grasp for your sanity to survive. When the employer says 'help with healthcare', ask them to spell that out. Are they going to pay it for you as a benefit, on top of the 45K salary (and if so, can you please check the policy). Or are they offering to enrol you in their own collective agreement for healthcare so you're really only getting a small discount and you still need to pay the premiums? This is going to make the difference of around 250 per month to your disposable income, so you need to know exactly who's footing the bill.

Where is the job based. If it's in Amsterdam (or Utrecht for that matter), and you're planning to live there, you will struggle to meet your family living costs on that one salary (mainly because housing costs will eat into it). It might seem good compared to the UK, but here it isn't: the cost of living is higher.

Health insurance; a good policy should work the same way as you're used to in the UK but you will have a small plastic card which you will need to show for medical appointments (your GP and regular pharmacy will only need to see your health insurance card once as it will be in their system). Children up to 18 are covered on their parent's policies. Immunisation programme is the same and very well organised: expect a letter within days of registering at the Town Hall, regarding this. School health check ups (including nit inspectors!) are frequent: health visitors are not just for preschoolers here. Child health and child mental health are very much on the ball, and I know I found these meetings rather intrusive compared to what I was used to in the UK (but here it's seen as totally normal and in the child's interest). Medicines are not a fixed prescription price like in the UK, but I've not found any which are overly expensive (so far!). Dental isn't covered on a basic policy, so you can buy top up insurance benefits - HR should have discussed this with your partner: same goes for physiotherapy, maternity, psychology, etc visits. Some policies cover lenses for specs and others don't. It pays to read the small print (although company collective agreements tend to have better coverage than individual policies). On the positive side, there are rarely delays in hospitals, which are modern and well organised. GP visits are usually same or next day, and there are specific hospitals for specialities (such as eye hospitals, cardiac clinics) in addition to the general and university general hospitals, which your insurance provider may have contracts with, cutting waiting time for specialist care.

Let us know if you have any questions once you've done some reading up.

Lastly, if you're worried about children settling in, there is an excellent group called Amsterdam Mamas (not as location specific as it sounds) where all things family are discussed: might also be worth a read.

Last edited by Red_Wine_Fairy; Feb 4th 2018 at 11:32 am.
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