Last checked: 23/06/2022

Terms of employment

When you hire staff you should provide them with their terms of employment in writing. You should ideally give them their terms of employment on or before the day they start working. In some EU countries (In this case, the 27 EU member states) you have between 1 week and 2 months after the first working day give your new employees their terms of employment.

Your staff contracts or equivalent written statements confirming working conditions – such as letters of commitment – must contain at least the following information, or give a reference to the relevant law:

For annual holidays, length of notice periods, working time and remuneration, you can simply refer your employees to any relevant national/regional laws and administrative provisions.


Some EU countries apply simplified working schemes for staff employed for a maximum of 1 month or fewer than 8 hours per week.

Search below for more national information on simplified working schemes that might be available in your country:

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Free movement of workers within the EU

As an employer, you have a right to hire staff from any EU country. You must give jobseekers from other EU countries the same treatment as applicants from your own country. You cannot impose discriminatory criteria - for example on the basis of nationality - during the recruitment phase. You also have to provide other EU nationals with the same working conditions (salary, paid annual leave, etc.) as you offer your own nationals. Jobseekers from an EU country do not need a work permit to work in another EU country.

You can ask job applicants from other EU countries to demonstrate the language skills needed for the job, but the level of language knowledge required must be reasonable for the post.

You can get help on recruiting across the EU from EURES - European jobs portal.

If your business is located in a border region, EURES can also advise how to deal administratively with any of your staff that commute from a neighbouring country.

EU legislation

Need support from assistance services?

Get in touch with specialised assistance services

Your EURES Adviser

Your EURES Adviser can inform you on working conditions as well as assist you in the recruitment procedures in your country or your cross-border region.

Do you have questions on operating a business cross-border, for example exporting or expanding to another EU country? If so, the Enterprise Europe Network can give you free advice.

You can also use the assistance service finder to find the right help for you.

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