P&O News 12 May 2015

New Collective Labour Agreement (cao) for Dutch Universities

On Friday 24 April, the parties to the Collective Labour Agreement reached agreement about the definitive text of the cao NU that runs from 1 January 2015 up to and including 1 July 2016. The full text of the cao is available via the staff website. Cao parties have agreed to make an interim modification to reflect the changes in the law on dismissal that comes into effect on 1 July 2015. This takes into account the introduction of the transition allowance in the event of dismissal. Once these agreements have been have been worked out in detail, we will inform you accordingly. The new texts for the ZANU (Sickness and Disability Scheme of Dutch Universities) and the BWNU (Non-Statutory Unemployment Regulation of Dutch Universities) have already been agreed. For more information on these schemes, please see the P&O News of 7 April (in Dutch).

The main changes in the cao

The main changes in the cao are indicated below. These changes are also available in a more detailed summary per article (in Dutch).

The chain rule: up to and from 1 July 2016
With effect from 1 July 2016 the cao will be brought into line with the chain rule stipulated in the Work and Security Act. The chain rule relates to the maximum permitted duration and the maximum number of extensions to temporary employment contracts. Information on the duration of an employment contract after 1 July 2016 can be found in article 2.3, under the heading 'Effective from 1 July 2016'. 

The current chain rules continue to apply until 1 July 2016, as stipulated in article 2.3, under the heading 'Valid to 1 July 2016'. Please see below:

  • Employment contracts entered into before 1/7/15; or entered into from 1/7/2015 but ending before 1/7/2016: article 2.3 applies, under the heading 'Valid up to 1 July 2016'.

  • Employment contracts entered into after 1/7/15 and continuing until or after 1/7/2016; or entered into after 1/7/2016: the new rules in article 2.3 under the heading 'Effective from 1 July 2016' apply. 

One-off employment contract
A new possibility in the cao is Article 2.2a of the cao offers a new possibility. This article sets out the grounds on which a - one-off - temporary employment contract for a longer period can be offered, for example a contract of 6 years for a tenure track. In this case, there can be no previous or consecutive employment contract with Leiden University. 

Trial period
A trial period is no longer possible for an employment contract of 6 months or shorter. For all other employment contracts a trial period of a maximum of two months can be agreed.

Duty to inform of end of temporary employment contract (notice period)
The employer is required to inform the employee whether or not the employment contract will be extended. If the contract is to be extended, the employer must also inform the employee of the conditions under which the employer wishes to continue the contract. This is set out in article 8.3, paragraph 3, of cao NU, including the sanction in the event this obligation is not met, or is not met on time.

The principle of article 4.7, paragraph 2, of cao NU has been changed: '(..) The holiday will be approved unless this is demonstrated to be detrimental to the interests of the institution.' The employee's entitlement to take holiday has now been more clearly established. If the employer refuses to approve the holiday, he or she is required to demonstrate that approving the holiday would harm the interests of the institution. 

Leave other than holiday leave
A number of articles in Chapter 4, paragraph 3a and further paragraphs have been expressed more clearly in line with the Work and Care Act.

Other agreements
Several agreements from the cao negotiations call for further explanation. A number of the points agreed will be studied in further detail by the cao partners. We will keep you updated on the relevant developments.

Want to know more?

Information on the cao NU 2015-2016, including the full text of the cao is available on the staff website. The text of the agreement between the partners to the negotiations (in Dutch) can be found on the website of the VSNU.

Last Modified: 18-05-2015