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The Collective Labour Agreement

  • Netherlands
  • Employment law


The new dismissal law, ‘Wet Werk en Zekerheid’, provides for several possibilities to derogate from statutory provisions by a Collective Labour Agreement (CLA). A number of these possibilities already exist, but various aspects thereof will change. The new dismissal law also provides for new possibilities to derogate.

Derogations by CLA

Under the new dismissal law, derogation by CLA is possible from the following statutory provisions, in brief:


  • the period of 6 months that the employee does not perform work and therefore is not entitled to wages (‘geen arbeid, geen loon’);
  • the duration of the probationary period, in case of an employment contract concluded for a period of more than 6 months and less than 2 years or a fixed-term employment contract which is not fixed on a specific calendar date;
  • provisions on succession of fixed-term employment contracts (when is there a conversion of a fixed term contract into an indefinite term contract);
  • the redundancy criteria in case of job losses (‘het afspiegelingsbeginsel’);
  • the prohibition of termination; limited to military service;
  • instead of the Labour Office (‘UWV’), a redundancy committee can give its approval for the termination of employment contracts in case of job losses;
  • the transitional remuneration (including the special temporary regulation for employees over 50 years old and employed for more than 10 years);
  • the temporary employment contract.


To be valid, the aforementioned possibilities must comply with various (additional) terms and conditions. These (additional) terms and conditions vary per statutory provision which should be considered, in case of an intended use of (one of) the possibilities to derogate.

New is mainly the possibility to establish a redundancy committee. In case of job losses for economic reasons this committee, instead of the UWV, can give its approval for the termination of employment contracts. However, there still are uncertainties with regard to this redundancy committee and the permitted organization thereof. Trade unions already announced that they are only willing to cooperate to this in specific industrial sectors.