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Point 08: Reining in temporary employment contracts

The UvA is committed to reducing undesirable flexible working practices and investing in the career prospects of staff on temporary employment contracts. Percentage targets laid down in the collective labour agreement have been met and 'back-door procedures' are no longer tolerated.

The implementation of policy in order to achieve an appropriate balance between employees on permanent and temporary contracts is based on three principles: consistent employment practices, observation of the letter and spirit of the collective labour agreement, and offering career prospects.

The policy advice from the confidential adviser on individual legal status (VIR, see below) and the advice of the Personnel Committee have also been implemented into the policy. Improving the career prospects of temporary staff, e.g. by offering training, has been a conscious decision on the part of the UvA. 

In December 2017, it became apparent that the policy document 'Temporary and permanent staff – on the path towards an appropriate balance' did not meet with the COR's approval. As a result, the policy document was withdrawn. Nevertheless, the UvA has implemented a variety of measures in the recent period so as to safeguard an appropriate balance between temporary and permanent staff, and it will continue to uphold these measures in spite of the policy document's withdrawal. This intention has been laid down in a letter of commitment addressed to the COR.

Meeting targets

In principle, the UvA's employment contracts are open-ended, unless a temporary contract is deemed necessary. Temporary contracts must always be motivated on a case-by-case basis. Furthermore, the UvA has expressly committed itself to the limit of 22% temporary employment contracts for professors, associate professors, assistant professors and lecturers laid down in the collective labour agreement. The UvA has already met this target (19% in November 2017).

Advice from the VIR

Between 9 June and 10 October 2015, employees of the University of Amsterdam who were of the opinion that their appointment was not in keeping with the letter and spirit of the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities (CAO NU) and the Dutch Work and Security Act were given the option to ask the confidential adviser on individual legal status ('VIR') for a binding recommendation. The VIR received 34 requests for advice. In response, binding recommendations were issued in 17 cases. The Executive Board decided in line with these recommendations.