Dozens of new laws & rules take effect in the Netherlands on Jan. 1, 2020

Parliament in the Netherlands
The Ridderzaal within the Binnenhof parliamentary complex in The Hague. Oct. 8, 2018vverveDepositPhotosDeposit Photos

With a new year comes a host of law changes, new rules, and regulations to be implemented in the Netherlands. The Dutch government is enforcing dozens of these new laws as of January 1, 2020.

Every year, the NL Times does a roundup of these rules changes for non-Dutch speaking people. Here follows a summary of the main changes per category. For 2020, the Dutch government categorized these laws into nine different sections. Click on each section header for a full article about each category's changes in the new year.

Work and Income

Over a dozen changes affecting workers and income enter into force next year. The biggest change in this category is the implementation of the Work In Balance Act, meant to decrease the difference in positions between permanent employees and flexible workers. It entails a number of changes, including that workers will be eligible for a transition allowance from the day they start at a company and that on-call workers must be informed of shifts at least four days in advance. Minimum wage is on the rise, and the transition from three income tax brackets down to two will happen.


This category has by far the most law changes for 2020, with a decrease in the corporate tax rate, and a decrease in the income tax paid for money earned from a substantial business interest among them. Owners of small and mid-sized businesses will see a bunch of new regulations. Trade across European borders should be subject to a more limited amount of paperwork where it concerns sales tax. Sole-proprietorships will be issued a new VAT identification number, to protect their owners' privacy. The welfare benefit for self-employed (Bbz) will be adjusted on a number of points.A new business acquisition fund will help starting farmers and horticulturists build a future-proof business. 

Justice, Security and Defense

From January 1st, women can also be conscripted into the Dutch Armed Forces. Revenge porn will be a separate, punishable offense which carries a maximum punishment of two years in prison. Class action lawsuits will be possible. And the maximum punishments for serious traffic offenses are increasing.


Good news for parents, the childcare allowance is increasing in 2020. The period for which divorced couples have to pay partner alimony is decreasing. 

Education and Culture

In 2020, digital books, newspapers and magazines will fall under the low-VAT rate of 9 percent.

Health, Care and Sport

Two new laws regulate the rights of patients who receive mandatory or involuntary care. The healthcare allowance is increasing. And there are some changes and additions to the basic health insurance package. The healthcare deductible will not increase and remains 385 euros.

Housing and Living Environment

The mortgage interest deduction is decreasing from 49 percent to 46 percent. This only applies to people with an income above 68,507 euros, and a mortgage that qualifies for this deduction. 

Traffic and Transportation

In 2020, there will be nationwide rules for municipalities with environmental zones. Taxi companies will no longer receive a discount on motor vehicle tax when buying new cars. Owners of diesel vehicles will pay a particulate matter surcharge. And the tax benefits for electric driving will continue. 


The state pension age is not increasing in 2020.