Monday 08 March 2021

Foreign workers in NL: Share your voice

Share My Voice, a new initiative set up by a wide variety of Dutch organisations aims to give a voice to the international community in the Netherlands by finding out more about the issues that matter to them. It’s not unusual to read Dutch newspaper articles about rich expats pushing up property prices in Amsterdam, or eastern European fruit pickers annoying their neighbours in a Gelderland village. But what is the truth behind the headlines? Now a group of unions,... More >

Tax changes in 2021 you need to know about

A wide range of tax changes come into effect this month. Here’s a round up of the main changes likely to have an impact on international workers, compiled by tax specialists Blue Umbrella. Saving grace There will be some saver-friendly changes to ‘box 3’ next year, where your savings, assets and small investments are taxed. Currently, the asset tax kicks in if you have more than €30,846 in savings, or €61,692 together with a fiscal partner. But next year, the... More >

Can AI make clothes shops more inclusive?

If clothing retailers featured models that looked like you, would you be more inclined to make a purchase? As the pandemic triggers a boom in home shopping, Deborah Nicholls-Lee reports on the AI startup revolutionising online fashion retail. No amount of squishing and stretching the images on my computer can make the model in the high-waisted jeans I’m deliberating over look anything like me. I’m twice as old as her, half her height, and my middle is – well –... More >

Zein Childcare share kids' New Year wishes

To reconnect with its community during lockdown, Zein International Childcare has been sharing the children’s New Year wishes online. After all, a child’s view of the world can offer comfort and perspective during difficult times, so we are sharing some of these funny messages of hope. It can be hard to escape the gloom of the pandemic and its effect on all our lives, but the fun and friendly atmosphere at Zein International Childcare’s seven locations in and around The... More >

Big investments hit magic truffle business

Campaigners and investors believe the Netherlands is the perfect place to launch a legal magic truffel microdosing industry. In the village of Horst, Limburg, is a 1,000 square meter farming facility preparing to harvest its first 1000 kilograms of psylocibin sclerotia – known colloquially as magic truffles – the psychedelic mycelium that have been drawing tourists to the Netherlands for decades. The farm’s manager, Hans Derix, left his position as an addiction therapist in Thailand to oversee what he believes... More >

The best features of 2020

Had enough of news about coronavirus and looking for a little light reading during the holidays? Here are 10 of the best features from 2020 – none of which are about Covid-19. Gefeliciteerd! Why do the Dutch have calendars in their loos? While you’re knocking your knees against the wall or developing frostbite while washing your hands, you might have noticed a curious feature in the Dutch loo: a calendar. And not just any calendar, but a yearly birthday... More >

A letter from the team

Dear readers Thank you for supporting this past year. The financial support and your emails of encouragement have made it possible for us to keep covering the most extraordinary year any of us has ever known. When we wrote our first article about coronavirus at the end of January – about 20 Dutch nationals who lived in Wuhan, China – we had no idea that 12 months later Covid-19 would come to dominate our news coverage for a year.... More >

'I fell in love with the overall society'

Originally from the seaside town of Ayvalık in Turkey, Ozan Ozavci is an assistant professor of trans-imperial history at the University of Utrecht. He says he’s fallen in love with Dutch cycling culture and Old Amsterdam goat’s cheese and would relish the opportunity to discuss politics with Thierry Baudet. How did you end up in the Netherlands? I ended up here because I started a job as a post-doctoral research fellow on a project on security history at Utrecht University.... More >

Legal advice on jobs, divorce and tenancy

Has your job been affected by coronavirus? Has working at home driven you and your partner into divorce proceedings? And what are your rights as a tenant? Here’s a round-up of what you need to know, courtesy of GMW lawyers. Losing your job during the coronavirus pandemic: what to do There’s not much worse than facing dismissal, except perhaps for losing your job now in the current crisis. Companies are failing, jobs are scarcer, and just getting to an interview... More >

7 tips for the best health insurance deal

The six week window for choosing a new health insurance provider is almost at an end. If you live in the Netherlands you have until December 31 to pick and switch to a new insurer. Analysis by Zorgwijzer shows that around half a million people change their health insurance company in the last few days of the year. So, if you still haven’t made your mind up what to do, here are seven key tips to make sure you get the best insurance... More >

Going green on a budget in the Netherlands

Planning to go green in 2021? It doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg to transition into a greener lifestyle. Here are seven tips for becoming a more caring consumer when living in the Netherlands. So you’ve been thinking of ways to go green. You commit to going vegan, organic and plastic-free all in one day. You tell yourself, ‘Okay, I’m only going to shop at Ekoplaza now. No more Albert Heijn. I’m going organic and I’m doing... More >

A new life for pickled gherkins?

Launching a company selling a new brand of pickled gherkins and cornichons to the catering industry at the start of the coronavirus pandemic might not have been the best timing, but Arend van den Berg has not been soured by the experience. Rather, he says, the experience has taught him not to be afraid to ‘pivot’ to – use start-up terminology – and refocus on the consumer market instead. Van den Berg, who brought Business Insider to the Netherlands, has... More >

Have a merry crisis Christmas

Brandon Hartley has spent the last several months dealing with a mouse-infestation at his house when he’s not stuck on NS trains with canoodling couples. Needless to say, he’s very much looking forward to the end of the Covid 19 crisis. Here’s how his holiday season has been going. ‘Twas a week before Christmas, and all through the Netherlands, plenty of creatures were stirring, even the mice! I’m writing these words in my living room about a metre from where... More >

Noël place like home. Travelling for Xmas?

So, will you be spending the holiday season abroad with family or have you already bought your kerststol and kransjes for a traditional Dutch Christmas here in the Netherlands? reports on how the corona crisis is shaping the winter holiday plans of international residents in the Netherlands. Do not travel abroad unless it’s essential, the Dutch government has urged, stressing that holidays and family visits are not. Instead, we are encouraged to stay here in the Netherlands, gather round... More >

The arts are coming home for Christmas

Bring the arts into your home this holiday season with digital options from some of the best cultural providers in the world. Whether you are looking for the festive cheer of a traditional British panto or if you want to explore a museum from your armchair, we have some top tips to help you stay full of cheer. Watch Marquee TV – This subscription based performing arts platform helps arts providers bring in much needed funds while the theatres are... More >

Papa John's Christmas deal backs charity

Traditionally, we think more about turkey at Christmas than pizza…but orders are up by 20% year on year at Papa John’s and the chain is keen to give something back. This year, the chain is partnering with the Dutch Red Cross, and inviting hungry diners to donate €1 of their pizza deal to the charity’s food bank appeal – which the chain will then double. ‘All shoppers can donate to the charity,’ said a spokesman. ‘The festive season is a period... More >

Dutch cinemas versus the Covid-19 crisis

Cinemas all over the world are wrapping up their most difficult year in decades and in the Netherlands are once again closed to the public. Here’s how several film festivals and theatres in the Netherlands are fairing in a winter of uncertainty. On an afternoon in early November, the front of the Trianon Cinema in Leiden looked like something out of a post-apocalyptic horror movie. Any other year, its displays would be full of posters for big-budget Christmastime releases like... More >