Regulations on employee disputes

adopted by the Executive Board on 16 March 2021 in agreement with the Local Council

If you do not agree with a decision made by the dean or director, you must first consult your direct supervisor. If you cannot resolve the matter together, you may submit an appeal to the Executive Board. For detailed information about the procedure and the appeal requirements, consult the regulations for Radboud University staff for lodging appeals: Regulations Employee Disputes.

Preamble

Effective 1 January 2020 the Collective Labour Agreement (CLA) for Dutch Universities contains sectoral dispute regulations to give the employee the opportunity to submit disputes with his/her employer to a disputes committee whose members have been nominated by both the employer and the employee representatives in the Local Council. The CLA regulations limit this possibility to an exhaustive list of topics.

At Radboud University, employees have always had the possibility internally of having disputes with the employer reviewed, without this being limited to particular topics (most recently provided for in the Regulations on employee letters of objection of Radboud University of 26 June 2015). It is important to the Executive Board that this possibility continues to exist. The advising on disputes concerning topics that fall outside the sectoral dispute regulations has, for the sake of clarity and uniformity, been structured in the same way as that from the exhaustive list of the sectoral dispute regulations and has therefore been included in these regulations as well. The handling of this is assigned to an advisory committee, however.

Depending on the topic of the dispute, the handling will be assigned to a disputes committee (in performance of the Sector disputes regulations for Dutch Universities) or an advisory committee, both of which issue advice to the Executive Board thereafter. The sectoral regulations have been integrated into these regulations.

Disputes in which the Executive Board is involved as the immediate supervisor must be submitted by the employee directly to the subdistrict court.

Article 1 Definitions

  1. Employee: the person who has an employment relationship with the employer on grounds of the CLA for Dutch Universities.
  2. Employer: the Stichting Radboud Universiteit, represented by the Executive Board of Radboud University.
  3. Executive Board: the executive board of Radboud University.
  4. Dispute: the employee disagrees with a decision or comparable determination by the employer concerning:
    a) one of the topics as mentioned below in the fifth paragraph of this article;
    b) another topic as mentioned below in the sixth paragraph of this article.
  5. Disputes Committee: the disputes committee of Radboud University which advises the employer on any employee dispute with the employer concerning one of the following topics, listed exhaustively here:
    a) staff assessment;
    b) change of position without prior agreement on this with the staff member;
    c) denial of promotion to the functional scale;
    d) allocation, rejection, withdrawal or refund of study facilities;
    e) denial of permission to perform secondary activities;
    f) compliance with salary agreements and the implementation of the selection model;
    g) compliance with leave entitlements. (article 2 paragraph 3 Sectoral dispute regulations
  6. Advisory Committee: the advisory committee of Radboud University set up in the context of these regulations which advises the employer on any employee dispute with the employer concerning topics other than those mentioned in the fifth paragraph of this article. ‘Other topics’ in any case include:
    a) not cooperating sufficiently with a reassignment investigation;
    b) refusal to accept a suitable position;
    c) (possible) reassignment; 
    d) suspension;
    e) being placed on non-activity.
  7. Committee: the disputes committee or advisory committee referred to above in paragraphs 5 and 6 of this article.
  8. Supervisor: the person who directly supervises the employee on behalf of the employer.
  9. Request letter: the written request from the employee that a dispute be handled.

Article 2 Submitting a request letter

  1. A dispute can only be submitted if the employee him/herself has an interest in the matter and after the employee has demonstrably consulted on this topic with his/her immediately supervisor and this has not resulted in agreement. (article 2 paragraph 2 Sectoral dispute regulations)
  2. An employee submits a written request for the handling of a dispute to the executive board. This must take place within 6 weeks after the day on which the decision or comparable determination to which the request letter pertains has been communicated to the employee.
  3. The request letter must be signed and dated and report at least the following:
    a) the name and address of the employee;
    b) a description of the dispute and, if possible, a copy of the decision or comparable determination;
    c) the employee’s positions;
    d) the name of the immediate supervisor involved in the dispute.
  4. If one of the requirements stated above in the third paragraph of this article is not satisfied, the employee will be given the opportunity to remedy the omission within a reasonable time frame given to him/her by the committee.
  5. If, after the expiration of the time period mentioned in the second paragraph, the request letter has been submitted, it will not be declared inadmissible on that ground if the employee demonstrates that he/she submitted the request letter as soon as could be reasonably required.
  6. Submission of a request letter pursuant to these regulations does not suspend the effect of the contested decision or comparable determination.

Article 3 Assistance

During the formulation, submission and further handling of the dispute, the employee can seek assistance of his/her choice at his/her own expense. (article 7 Sectoral dispute regulations)

Article 4 Confidentiality

Every person involved in the handling of a dispute and who obtains in this context access to data that must be treated confidentially is required to observe confidentiality in respect thereof. If there is a legal obligation to disclose or there are legal proceedings, the foregoing does not apply. (article 8 Sectoral dispute regulations)

Article 5 Handling of the request letter by the disputes committee or advisory committee

  1. After receiving the request letter, the Executive Board will immediately forward it for handling and advice either to the disputes committee or the advisory committee, depending on the topic of the dispute.
  2. Unless there is a situation as referred to below in article 5, paragraph 3, the disputes committee or advisory committee will proceed to the substantive handling. The committee will follow the procedure below in that context:
    a) The committee will send the request letter together with any appendices to the supervisor and give a four-week period in which the latter must have submitted a defence and all documents relating to the case. If the decision has been taken in the context of an organisational change, these documents must in any event contain the data as stated in the appendix to these regulations.
    b) The committee will give the employer and the employee the opportunity to be heard if they so request or if the committee deems this necessary. At the request of the employer and/or employee, witnesses and experts introduced by them may be heard. (article 3 paragraph 1 Sectoral dispute regulations)
    c) The hearing will take place in each other’s presence, unless the committee believes there are compelling reasons to hear them separately. In that case, the employer and employee will be informed of the proceedings during the hearing that took place outside of their presence.
    d) The employee can have an adviser providing assistance during a hearing.
    e) The committee is authorised to seek information from all employees, supervisors and the employer. It can request access to all documentation and correspondence it deems relevant to the assessment of the request letter. The employer, supervisor and employees are required to cooperate with this within the time period stipulated for this by the committee.
  3. A dispute submitted will not be handled if:
    a) the dispute is evidently inadmissible or evidently unfounded;
    b) it cannot be demonstrated that consultation on the topic of the dispute took place between the employee and his/her immediate supervisor;
    c) there is another internal official procedure;
    d) the same fact or same incident is (also) the topic of dispute or was the topic of dispute in another internal or external procedure. (article 3 paragraph 2 Sectoral dispute regulations)
  4. If, in the committee chair’s opinion, a dispute does not need to be handled, in accordance with the previous paragraph of this article, the dispute will be disposed of by the chair without the hearing of the employee or employer and without further oral handling. The chair’s decision will be communicated to the employee and employer in writing or electronically. (article 3 paragraph 3 Sectoral dispute regulations)

Article 6 Advice from the disputes committee or advisory committee

  1. The disputes committee or advisory committee will advise the employer on whether, according to the standards of reasonableness and fairness, the employer could have taken the decision or comparable determination in relation to which there is a dispute. (article 4 paragraph 1 Sectoral dispute regulations)
  2. The committee’s advice will be issued in writing and contains a report of the hearing if the parties were heard. (article 4 paragraph 2 Sectoral dispute regulations)
  3. The committee will issue advice within eight weeks after receipt of the dispute. The committee can decide to extend the time period by at most four weeks. If the employee consents, the time period can be extended further. (article 4 paragraph 3 Sectoral dispute regulations)

Disputes committee and Advisory committee

Article 7 Composition and appointment of committee

  1. The committee will be composed with equal representation and will be made up of experts. (article 6 paragraph 1 Sectoral dispute regulations)
  2. The committee consists of at least two members and a chair, possibly supplemented with deputies. (article 6 paragraph 2 Sectoral dispute regulations)
  3. The chair, the members and the deputies are appointed or reappointed for four years. (article 6 paragraph 3 Sectoral dispute regulations)
  4. The employer appoints the (deputy) members on the recommendation of the employer side and the employee side respectively, and the chair of the committee on the joint recommendation of the members of the committee. (article 6 paragraph 4 Sectoral dispute regulations)

Article 8 Support for the committee

  1. The committee’s secretarial office is run by a lawyer from Radboud Services. The secretary is not a member of the committee.
  2. The committee can seek the support of subject-matter advisers.

Article 9 Decision of the employer

  1. The employer will take a decision within four weeks after receiving the committee’s advice and notify the employee, the supervisor and the committee of this. This time period can be extended by the same period of time. If the employee consents, the time period can be extended further. (article 5 paragraph 1 Sectoral dispute regulations)
  2. If the decision derogates from the committee’s advice, the decision must state the reason for that derogation. (article 5 paragraph 2 Sectoral regulations)
  3. The committee’s advice will be sent together with the decision. (article 5 paragraph 3 Sectoral dispute regulations)

Article 10 Accountability

The committee accounts to the Executive Board for its activities, after the fact and in general formulations, in an annual report.

Article 11 Protection of persons involved

The submission of a request letter pursuant to these regulations cannot result in the employee suffering any disadvantage whatsoever, either directly or indirectly, unless the employee has not acted in good faith. The same applies for witnesses, experts, confidential advisors or the committee members. The executive board will ensure this to the best of its ability.

Article 12 Unforeseen cases

  1. In all cases not covered by these regulations, the committee shall decide, as long as advice has not yet been issued to the employer. After that point, the employer decides.
  2. If the committee deems a major provision or amendment of these regulations necessary, this will be submitted to the parties in the Local Council for decision.

Final provisions

  1. These regulations enter into force on 15 March 2021.
  2. Disputes that occurred between 1 January 2020 and the taking effect of these regulations will, until six weeks after these regulations have taken effect, not be able to be declared inadmissible on grounds of noncompliance with the submission period.
  3. These Regulations on employee disputes at Radboud University are the local procedure of the sectoral disputes regulations mentioned in Article E.24 of the Collective Labour Agreement (CLA) for Dutch Universities. The Regulations cannot be seen in isolation from the sectoral disputes regulations. If the sectoral disputes regulations are amended, the Regulations will be amended accordingly. If the CLA parties decide at any moment to abolish the sectoral regulations, the Regulations will cease to have effect. No later than in the second quarter of 2021, the effect of the sectoral disputes regulations will be evaluated by the CLA parties.
  4. The Regulations on letters of objection from employees of Radboud University of 26 June 2015 hereby cease to have effect.

Appendix to the Regulations on employee disputes at Radboud University

When submitting a defence and all the documents relating to a case as referred to in Article 5, paragraph 2, sub a of the Regulations on employee disputes at Radboud University, a supervisor must in any event send along the following data:

  • Name, address, city/town of residence (incl phone number);
  • Date of birth;
  • M/F;
  • Date commenced employment;
  • Position and job profile;
  • Contract hours;
  • Salary scale;
  • Faculty/central organisational unit and department;
  • Date participational bodies informed of the intended organisational change;
  • Date of adoption of organisation/reorganisation plan;
  • Date of adoption of personnel plan;
  • Date on which the employee was informed of his/her impending dismissal;
  • Copy of individual reassignment plan provided to the employee by the dean or director;
  • (chronological) Overview/report of the reassignment efforts*);
  • Duration of the search/time period for suitable reassignment;
  • Proposed dismissal date.

*This is information that provides the committee with insight into the efforts of both the dean or director and the employee. This could include:

  • reassignment/guidance plan, intensity of the guidance;
  • retraining/additional training/reskilling and training activities;
  • the offer of (suitable) positions within the institution (maintenance of priority);
  • notification of vacancies outside the institution;
  • job application activities by the employee (including registration with temporary employment/intermediary agencies);
  • use of (other) facilities from the Social Plan.