Saturday 06 March 2021

Longer articles about living in the Netherlands, Dutch society, culture and travel plus third party content from our partners

It’s time to think about your tax return, and this is what you should look out for

It’s time to think about your tax return, and this is what you should look out for

    The 2021 tax season officially began on March 1 and 8.3 million people will have to file their tax return in the next two months. This year, the tax office is warning people to be extra careful, thanks to the impact of coronavirus. This year, millions of people will get a tax return which the tax office has already partly filled in. After all, details about your salary, childcare benefits and other regular payments are already in the... More >


Cut your energy bill, help the environment and pick up a bonus gift

Cut your energy bill, help the environment and pick up a bonus gift

Energy bills are likely to go down slightly this year, because of lower delivery charges and taxes. But what else can you do to make sure you are getting the best deal for electricity and gas? According to national statistics office CBS, after years of steady increases, energy bills will go down by around 3.8% this year. The change, the CBS says, is due to lower delivery charges and taxes. But that 3.8% alone is not going to pay for... More >


The international parents raising Dutch-speaking children: ‘It’s funny not understanding your own child’

The international parents raising Dutch-speaking children: ‘It’s funny not understanding your own child’

What can you expect when children in the Netherlands learn Dutch within a non-Dutch household? DutchNews.nl discovers that the triumphs mostly exceed the trials, but accepting difference is key. Derya Demirtas Nguon from Twente, whose mother tongue is Turkish, was finding it hard to understand what her two-year-old son was saying in Dutch. ‘I sent a video of him to my Dutch colleagues to help me to decipher,’ she told DutchNews.nl. ‘To my surprise, my colleague told me that my... More >


Housing newsletter: prices are rising, but interest rates continue to go down

Housing newsletter: prices are rising, but interest rates continue to go down

A round-up of the latest housing news, brought to you by Expat Mortgages. House price developments If you look at developments on the Dutch housing market last year, you might be forgiven for thinking that coronavirus did not exist. In all, prices rose by an average of 12% and they are expected to rise by a further 4% to 6% in 2021. The reason, says Expat Mortgages’ Henk Jansen, is the ‘incredible shortage of properties’. The current situation, says Henk,... More >


Coronavirus is hitting freedom-loving Dutch teenagers hard

Coronavirus is hitting freedom-loving Dutch teenagers hard

The Dutch have historically had the happiest children and teens in the industrialised world, according to repeated Unicef studies measuring their material well-being, life-satisfaction, health and safety, and academic and social skills. But as the Covid-19 pandemic exacerbates inequalities across the board, Dutch youth are also suffering, if not on the macro statistical level, then certainly as individuals. ‘I am really worried when I look at the numbers,’ says Loes Keijsers, professor of Clinical Child and Family Studies at Erasmus... More >


Watch your favourite tv from back home while under curfew with a VPN

Watch your favourite tv from back home while under curfew with a VPN

Worried about internet privacy, want to watch television programmes only broadcast in your home country or keep your company documents safe? You might want to consider using a VPN or ‘virtual private network’. One side effect of the coronavirus pandemic, which has confined more people to their homes, is growth in the use of VPNs, and it is now estimated that 30% of internet users worldwide will use one. Given that so many people are now working remotely, using a... More >


Skating is in our DNA: Ice fever hits the Netherlands as big freeze continues

Skating is in our DNA: Ice fever hits the Netherlands as big freeze continues

With freezing temperatures expected for at least the next week, ice fever is gripping the Netherlands and has the regional safety boards coming up with a set of rules for safe skating in the coronavirus era. Nothing, not even a global pandemic, can come between the Dutch and their skates. ‘You can’t work against it, skating is in our DNA,’ said Jurre Trouw, of the national skating union KNSB. ‘But we have to do it in a responsible way.’  So... More >


Voluntary departures, forced redundancy & settlement agreements 2021

Voluntary departures, forced redundancy & settlement agreements 2021

The global impact of the pandemic continues as more and more companies cut their workforce. Whether you have been offered voluntary departure or a settlement agreement, or you have been forced into redundancy in 2021, here’s what you need to know. Dismissal law Under Dutch law, a permanent employee’s contract can only be terminated with prior permission from the court/UWV. An employer must justify their request to the court by using one of the 9 legal grounds for dismissal. This... More >


‘The benefits of an international education are huge,’ says NAISR’s new principal

‘The benefits of an international education are huge,’ says NAISR’s new principal

We meet Nord Anglia International School Rotterdam’s well-travelled new principal and hear why an international education has much to offer expats and Dutch nationals alike. Niki Meehan’s love of travel and adventure has shaped her extraordinary teaching and leadership career, taking her to Eritrea, Vietnam, Slovakia, Spain, China, and Indonesia. Her latest post as principal of Nord Anglia International School Rotterdam (NAISR), which she took up last August, has brought Niki the closest she’s been to her Scottish homeland in... More >



‘One day, I’ll have the courage to go to a naked spa’

‘One day, I’ll have the courage to go to a naked spa’

Mollynn Gift Mugisha-Otim (41) worked as a doctor in Uganda but relocated to the Netherlands in 2006 and is now a programme manager in the childcare sector and the author of two children’s books. A community builder and entrepreneur at heart, she is currently creating the Kids Cultural Centre, The Hague, which will offer culturally oriented services for parents and children with an African background. Mollynn loves the freedom in the Netherlands to dress casually and be whoever you want... More >


The Dutch are not new to rioting: here’s seven for the history books

The Dutch are not new to rioting: here’s seven for the history books

Lots of people seem to think the current riots are something very un-Dutch. But nothing could be further from the truth. Amid the fireworks, water cannon and looting of the last couple of days, put your helmets on for a choice selection of street battles through the ages. Hatchet riots The Bijltjesoproer, or riot of the small hatchets, of 1787 was a result of political strife between supporters of the House of Orange and the Patriotten (patriots) who wanted democratic... More >


Blogwatching: The BBC and other things I miss about British culture

Blogwatching: The BBC and other things I miss about British culture

On Rachel’s Round-Up, Rachel Arts talks about her start-up life in the Netherlands, assimilating a new culture, celebrating her British-ness, and some life (and business) lessons along the way. Not long into my arrival in the Netherlands, I felt a gaping hole where certain elements of British culture used to be. The radio has long been part of my existence, BBC Radio, to be precise. Which channel would depend on who was in the car. My older children would switch... More >


Inburgering with DutchNews.nl: Catch up during the curfew with 19 lessons

Inburgering with DutchNews.nl: Catch up during the curfew with 19 lessons

Want to hide away and forget all about coronavirus? Or are you in need of something else to do during the curfew? Why not brush up on your Dutch culture instead, with DutchNews.nl’s very own inburgering course. Here’s a round up of the lessons so far. Lesson 1: An introduction to Dutch history Being the well organised folk that they are, the Dutch have drawn up a list of 50 key events and periods which shaped the country and made... More >


DutchNews.nl destinations: lockdown in a lock keeper’s cottage

DutchNews.nl destinations: lockdown in a lock keeper’s cottage

Steve White and his wife spent 10 enriching days in up-and-coming Georgia in 2019 and liked it so much that in 2020 they planned a couple of weeks in neighbouring Armenia. But then The Darkness fell upon the world, and they ended up sleeping in a larder in a 17th century lock keepers cottage in the ex-fishing port of Maassluis, a distant suburb of Rotterdam. We hit upon Maassluis as an unlikely substitute for Yerevan after my Dutch wife read... More >


Five things you didn’t know about funeral insurance

Five things you didn’t know about funeral insurance

While we don’t really like to talk about death, it is important to talk about it, especially when it comes to the finances. Death is expensive, and people often find themselves faced with a big bill after a loved one passes away. Compared to many other countries dying in the Netherlands comes at a price. This is just one of the reasons why the majority of the Dutch population take out funeral insurance to cover the costs of their burial... More >


A whole host of trouble: Launching a Dutch thriller in English during Covid

A whole host of trouble: Launching a Dutch thriller in English during Covid

The unfortunate events of 2020 upended the plans The Hague-based producer Zachary Weckstein had in place for his film The Host. Here’s how he forged ahead. How does one distribute and promote a small-budget film in 2020? That’s the challenge The Hague-based producer Zachary Weckstein grappled with last year. His film The Host had begun screening in cinemas all across North America last winter as the Coronavirus was becoming a full-blown epidemic. The crisis upended his plans to expand the... More >


Migrant worker, expat or simply an immigrant? Share your voice

Migrant worker, expat or simply an immigrant? 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 that international workers in NL need to know about

Tax changes in 2021 that international workers in NL 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 >


Sharing children’s simple New Year wishes at Zein International Childcare

Sharing children’s simple New Year wishes at Zein International Childcare

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 >