Manual working with annual agreements

General description

What makes academia so appealing to many people is the freedom to decide where and when to work. To facilitate this, Radboud University allows its academic staff to make annual agreements with their supervisors about these matters. Supervisors and employees can make agreements about the tasks to be performed, the results, and the accessibility and attendance of the employee.

Employees with whom these annual agreements are made are free to set their own hours with due observance of the attendance and accessibility regulations. For this reason, leave hours will no longer be registered and the number of leave hours at the end of the calendar year will automatically be set to zero.

The annual agreements are made by you and the employee during the annual appraisal interview. For new employees, the annual agreements will be made during the commencement of employment meeting and may be revised during the subsequent annual appraisal interviews. 

How it works

  1. You make annual agreements with the academic staff member in accordance with the regulations outlined in Article 4.5 of the Collective Labour Agreement of Dutch Universities (CAO-NU). Both the employee and you must be willing to make these annual agreements. This decision can be made upon commencement of employment or at a later date. 
    The annual agreements are documented in writing. The Annual Agreements Form is used for this, for example. This form can be used as an appendix to the annual appraisal interview or immediately after commencement of employment.
  2. The agreements must include:
    •    the results to be achieved in the field of education, research and valorisation 
    •    the administrative and management tasks (and all other applicable tasks)
    •    the attendance requirement (key events) and accessibility in case of absence

    The content of the annual agreement depends on the employee’s situation. Factors that play a role include:
    •    the employee’s position and level at which that position is fulfilled 
    •    the scope of employment 
    •    the experience needed to perform the work properly 
    •    the nature and difficulty of the work
    •    the employee’s workload
    •    the remaining leave balance (where applicable)
    •    agreements about sabbatical leave and leave days from the Employment Conditions Selection Model
  3. When working with annual agreements, the Collective Labour Agreement (CAO) provisions governing working hours, holidays and leave days will no longer apply. As a result, leave hours do not have to be registered. The employee is free to take leave when he or she wishes, in consultation with the supervisor. This also applies to special leave, such as care leave and emergency leave. Given that leave registration and holiday provisions do not apply, the employee is seen as having used up all their holiday leave each year. 
    In the event of an unforeseen circumstance (e.g. long-term illness, pregnancy, or parental leave), the supervisor and the employee may amend the annual agreement (or adjust the results for the remainder of the current year). 
  4. As leave registration and the holiday provisions are no longer applicable, an employee working on the basis of annual agreements may not enter any holiday hours into the Conditions Selection Model. If an employee would nevertheless like to enter holiday hours into the Conditions Selection Model (maximum 76 hours per year), an agreement can be reached on this with the supervisor. Instead of this, it is also possible to agree on sabbatical leave to be taken once every 3, 4 or 5 years. The Regulations for the Multi-Year Holiday Hours Savings Model apply by analogy. In these cases, agreements will have to be reached on the results to be achieved, for example on the additional tasks to be performed by the employee in that context.
  5. If a shift is made to annual agreements, these annual agreements must be evaluated in the next annual appraisal interview. If the agreed results are not achieved, the supervisor and the employee must discuss the reasons/circumstances and make new agreements on the results and the supervision/support the employee will be provided with in the coming year. 

Specific cases

  • Link annual agreements to the annual appraisal cycle

How can the annual agreements be combined with the annual appraisal interview cycle between supervisor and employee?
When working with annual agreements, an annual appraisal interview must be held between the supervisor and
the employee. In addition to discussing job performance, the supervisor and the employee are expected to make agreements for the coming year. For new employees, the first annual agreements will be made during a discussion on commencement of employment or as soon as possible thereafter.

  • Annual agreementsin case of maternity leave or long-term sick leave, or parental leave 

Annual agreements give employees the freedom to determine how to achieve the desired results. When on maternity, sick and/or parental leave, the employee will have less time to achieve the agreed results. For this reason, it is important for the employee and the supervisor to discuss amending the annual agreement or adjusting the results for the remainder of the current year.

  • Salary and parental leave 

In the context of working with annual agreements at Radboud University, the provisions regarding paid and unpaid parental leave continue to apply in full, irrespective of whether annual agreements are made. 
Parental leave is calculated based on the number of hours the employee works per week as per the employment contract. 
Given that parental leave affects overall work availability, employees must consult their supervisors to determine how their leave will affect their annual agreements. 

  • Unused leave hours when entering a new annual agreement

An agreement must be reached on the remaining leave balance at the start of the annual agreement. This may include:
-    incorporating the leave balance into the results (thereby reducing the scope of the annual agreements)
-    incorporating the leave balance into the agreements on sabbatical leave 
-   including the leave balance in the Selection Model
-    combining it with other agreements

  • Considerations that apply with employees living abroad

When making annual agreements, an employee has greater freedom in deciding when and where the work will be performed. Agreements on this will be reached with the employee. 
NB: where an employee lives abroad (for example in Germany or Belgium), the situation may arise that the employee – if they work more than 25% of their working hours from home – is socially insured in their country of residence. This means that Dutch social insurance premiums are no longer due, but social insurance premiums from the country of residence instead. Where, for example, a Belgian employee works from home two (2) days per week, Radboud University is required to withhold and pay out Belgian social insurance premiums. These premiums are higher than those in the Netherlands, meaning higher employer contributions for Radboud University. There may also be negative consequences for the employee. For example, health insurance premiums in Germany are higher than in the Netherlands, or pension contributions may sometimes have to be paid in two countries. This may work to the employee’s disadvantage. It may also mean that the 30% ruling can no longer be applied, as the employee is no longer subject to taxation in the Netherlands.
Before an employee who lives abroad starts working from home, we recommend that they find out in advance what the consequences for them are for tax payments and social security and pension contributions, and that they fill in the Taxation and Social Security Status Assessment Questionnaire.