When switching between jobs in the Netherlands (from employer A to employer B), and having the possibility to choose between starting the new job right after leaving the old one or having a few days of gap between the two jobs, are there any reasons for avoiding the gap, aside from the lack of salary for those days?

The current employer is not providing health insurance.

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    "The current employer is not providing health insurance." That doesn't even make sense, employers in the Netherlands do not provide health insurance; they may offer a 'collectivity' discount with a specific insurer, but that only matters at the yearly renewal of your insurance. Commented Jul 10, 2020 at 18:14
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    I take that line to mean that health insurance is not conditional on employment, for anyone not acquainted with how health insurance works in the Netherlands (like me)
    – Caliver
    Commented Jul 10, 2020 at 19:36
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    @Caliver There's nothing like "health insurance conditional on employment" in the Netherlands. Everyone just goes and signs up with an insurance provider of their own choice. You just pick one online, sign up and pay the yearly premium and that's it.
    – TooTea
    Commented Jul 11, 2020 at 14:22

1 Answer 1


Assuming you are Dutch or a permanent resident, having a gap of a few days between jobs has no real effect. You might miss a few days of income, and thus pension buildup, but that is it. Having no job is not relevant for your health insurance, as health insurance is personal and not tied to an employer(*). Some employer may provide a 'collectiviteitskorting' (collectivity discount) with a specific insurer, but for that only your employment status at or around the 1st of January is relevant (assuming the insurer even checks the collectivity).

As far as I know, this is not the case if you are not a permanent resident, but instead have a work permit/visa. However, I don't know the specifics for that situation, but I believe a gap might be problematic, check the conditions of your permit/visa and check with an immigration specialist.

However instead of having a real gap, consider using vacation days, if you have vacations days left at your old employer. It is usually advisable to use those. For that you have two options:

  1. You 'consume' the remaining vacations days at your old employer
  2. You ask your old employer to pay out the vacations days. Your new employer is legally required to allow you to take unpaid vacation days for the same number of days (you need proof of this from your old employer, and you need to use them within 6 months).

Generally taking option 1 is better than option 2, especially if you want a break between jobs.

*) Some employers may pay for health insurance, but, as far as I know, in that case end of your employment contract will just mean that you need to pay the insurance fee for the remainder of the year yourself.

  • Just to clarify, the first paragraph also applies to EU citizens. I guess you implicitly include them under "permanent residents", but that's a slightly different status that formally only applies to non-EU nationals.
    – TooTea
    Commented Jul 11, 2020 at 14:18
  • @TooTea As far as I can tell from a quick search, even EU citizens will need to apply for permanent residency, see ind.nl/en/eu-eea/Pages/Permanent-residence-for-EU-citizens.aspx Commented Jul 11, 2020 at 14:38
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    Sorry, I oversimplified it somewhat. You can indeed apply for permanent residence as an EU citizen after living in the Netherlands for 5 years. You don't have to do that though. The main advantage of becoming a permanent resident is that you can then apply for welfare benefits (bijstandsuitkering) without possibly losing your right to reside. Either way, whether or not are you a permanent resident doesn't have any effect on your health insurance if you're an EU citizen.
    – TooTea
    Commented Jul 11, 2020 at 18:24
  • Just adding to this, the REASON option 1 is better is because having your holidays paid out like in option 2 means they are taxed heavily, while there’s zero benefit. Unless of course you don’t have any days left and it’s your only option, but then you also don’t have a right to it anyway. Commented Aug 15, 2022 at 5:53
  • @SebastiaanvandenBroek If your new job pays you more it is a net negative, but tax is not a factor. The idea they are "heavily taxed" is incorrect. Yes, usually the highest income tax rate is used when paying them out, but you get the higher tax back when filing your tax return (assuming you paid too much). In other words, it is effectively the same as if your last contract was extended with the number of remaining vacation days. Commented Aug 15, 2022 at 7:43

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