This film explains in Dutch what the rules are regarding unemployment if you live in the Netherlands and work in Germany.

Do you live in the Netherlands, work in Germany and have you lost your job?

Are you a cross-border worker and do you return to the Netherlands at least once a week? Then you will normally claim unemployment benefits in the Netherlands. Whether you have to claim unemployment benefits in the Netherlands or in Germany depends on whether you become completely or partially unemployed.

Complete unemployment

If you become totally unemployed, you will have to apply for unemployment benefits, ‘WW’ in the Netherlands at the UWV. To do this, you need form PDU1 from the German Employment Agency (Arbeitsagentur). You send this application form to the employment agency in the area where you worked in Germany. On the homepage of the Employment Agency, you can enter the place where you worked and get the address.

You must apply for the WW benefit at the UWV one week before you become unemployed.

If you are unemployed and receive an unemployment benefit from the UWV, you have the option of moving to Germany for a maximum of three months while keeping your benefit and looking for work there. To do this, you need form PDU2, which you can also apply for at the UWV.

Partial unemployment

If you work part-time in Germany or if your employment contract is partially suspended due to unforeseen circumstances such as fire, frost or recession, you must apply for your benefit in Germany at the Employment Agency. You fall under the responsibility of the Employment Agency in your employer’s region. You can find out addresses on the website of the Employment Agency. The general telephone number of the Employment Agency is +0049 911 1203 1010.

In the case of (partial) dismissal, your employer has sent a so-called employer’s certificate to the Employment Agency.in whose jurisdiction your employer falls. It is advisable to ask your employer for a copy of this certificate.

To prove your Dutch working hours, you need a form PDU1 from the UWV.

  • You can request the form digitally from the UWV
  • By telephone: +0031-888982001
  • In writing:
    afdeling Verdragen
    Postbus 86
    7550 AB Hengelo

Unemployment due to employer insolvency

If your employer in Germany becomes insolvent, you are initially entitled to unpaid wages, known as insolvency benefits. You can apply for this benefit at the employment agency in whose jurisdiction your employer falls.

If the employment contract is terminated with a notice period, you can apply to the German Employment Agency for unemployment benefit for the period of notice. You can also claim the wages that would be due during this notice period from the insolvency administrator. This should then be paid from the bankruptcy assets. It is therefore possible that you will not receive any salary payments during the notice period.

After this notice period has expired, you must claim unemployment benefits (WW) from the UWV in the Netherlands. If no notice period applies, you are immediately fully unemployed and you must apply directly to the UWV for unemployment benefit.

If you continue to work after the bankruptcy, the insolvency administrator will pay your wages.