Agreement on spending objectives for decentralised employment conditions funding

As determined by the Executive Board and the Local Council on 4 March 2024


Every year the university receives a lump sum from the Dutch government to help fund education and research. It is at the university’s discretion to decide how it is spent. Funds are made available annually out of this lump sum – in the form of an earmarked budget – and agreement is then reached locally with trade unions on how these funds will be spent on decentralised (secondary) employment conditions (decentralised employment condition funds – DECFs).

The employer has certain obligations under the collective labour agreement (CLA) and laws and regulations, but it is generally not specified how these obligations must be met and what their scope is. Where the employer’s obligations end and where the (funds for) decentralised employment conditions begin is therefore also not clearly defined. The DECFs give the employer and trade unions the opportunity to make institution-specific agreements together at local level on employment conditions in the broadest sense, without attaching any restrictive conditions to them (Framework Agreement 1990-1991). General social issues and developments in laws and regulations clearly play a role here. The DECFs benefit all or large groups of employees. These funds cannot be used for financing full-time posts and are instead intended for activities of officials aimed at realising the spending objectives. 

Available funds

In 2023 the allocation of decentralised employment condition funds, after indexation, amounted to €1,634,170. To calculate this amount, the increase under the CLA of 9% as of 1 August 2023 was taken into account for 5 months, which means this amount was indexed by 3.75%. The remaining portion of the increase under the CLA for 2023 will be taken into account from 1 January 2024 to calculate the indexation. Whether, and by what percentage, the allocation will be indexed further in 2024, in connection with the increase under the CLA in that year, is not yet known. This will depend on the CLA negotiations in 2024. The indexation will be reviewed annually on the basis of salary development. For purposes of budgeting for the various spending objectives referred to in this agreement, an amount of €1,700,000 per year has been taken as a basis.

As at the end of 2023 the accrued reserves of decentralised employment condition funds amounted to €433,547. These are funds that were available for spending objectives that had been agreed in the 2019-2023 agreement, but were not actually spent. These funds are being added to the earmarked fund for DECFs and will remain available for future spending objectives.

After the balance of the earmarked fund for DECFs as at the end of 2023 has been definitively determined by mutual agreement between the parties, it will be allocated, at a moment to be decided on during the term of this agreement, to one or more spending objectives, which are yet to be specified. This budget allows scope to respond to current developments, within the framework of the objectives referred to in this agreement. In the main, this will concern projects of a temporary nature.

In principle, the reserve will be distributed evenly over the five years of this agreement, although it will be possible to depart from this principle by mutual agreement.

Proposed spending objectives for 2024-2028

Radboud University’s mission: to contribute to a healthy, free world with equal opportunities for everyone. Central to this are the Recognition & Rewards, Social Safety, and Diversity, Equity and Inclusion programmes.

To help make Radboud University’s mission a reality, HR is striving to create the best place for us all to work in.

In keeping with the above mission of the university, the spending objectives for the next five years are presented below, together with details of how the budget will be broadly distributed between them. Given the term of the agreement, not all activities are mentioned and detailed in advance here. An agenda, including a budget for the various themes, will be drawn up at least once a year and presented to the trade unions for approval in the Local Council. 

1. Vitality and health

€360,000 per year, including art, culture and sports allowance of €235,000

The theme of Vitality and Health is focused on managing one’s own health and the vitality of employees and teams. Over the next five years interventions will be geared towards amplition and prevention; prevention focuses mainly on reducing problems and risks, while amplition is aimed at increasing growth opportunities and other opportunities for employees. Amplition is explicitly geared towards all employees and not only those who are at risk of absence or already absent from work. By responding to signals at an early stage and using the right interventions at the right time, we expect to be able to prevent absences and/or undesired departures (at least to some extent).

Examples of interventions:

  • Over the coming years employees will be able to take advantage of a vitality programme. As getting sufficient relaxation in the form of culture and sport contributes significantly to vitality and health, all employees are also eligible for an art, culture and sports allowance. This art, culture and sports allowance will continue to be paid out via the Employment Conditions Selection Model. The starting point here is that this allowance can be granted free of tax, as it is charged to the tax-exempt component of the work-related expenses scheme. From 1 January 2024 the amount of the allowance is increasing to €120 free of tax and on a full-time basis.
  • A study examining the vitality of (target groups of) employees and the extent to which the current programme in the area of vitality and health is in keeping with their needs. The results of the study will be used to make (qualitative and/or quantitative) adjustments to the programme, if necessary. The study will also cover employees who are not currently on the radar.

An effort will be made to align with Living Labs within Radboud University in which scientists and students are working on research questions that will benefit employee vitality.

  • To identify signals at an early stage, holding a good discussion (development meeting) with the supervisor and the team is crucial. Interventions will be developed for the individual supervisor and teams to allow these discussions to be improved and held more frequently. 

2. Career and Talent Development

€430,000 per year

Within this theme attention will be focused on sustainable employability, internal mobility and the profile of the internal job market. Identifying, recognising and developing talent within the learning organisation will also be a central focus, with personal leadership and conducting good discussions on this topic being important links here. Particular attention will be paid to individual development, team development and organisational development, as well as the relationship between them, as reflected in talent management, succession planning and career paths.

Examples of interventions: 

  • Interventions that contribute to the balance between personal development needs and organisational interests, in accordance with ‘recognition and rewards’; interventions focusing on the individual form part of larger development programmes. Broadening the scope of development and enrichment go hand in hand.
  • For this theme too, holding good discussions is of central importance, not just between the supervisor and employee, but also within teams.
  • Good discussions are part of the culture and are not just confined to the regular annual appraisal interview.
  • ‘From work to work’ will be given new impetus (positive framing) by responding early and proactively to signals from employees and the organisation, and using programmes that combine individual and group coaching and careers advice.

3. Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI)

€300,000 per year

Diversity, equity and inclusion are basic principles at Radboud University. We work on a campus that is inclusive for all employees and students. Over the coming period we will focus on: 

  • Broadening and expanding the DEI community so that as many employees as possible experience the added value and actively contribute to it. We will do this, for example, by organising DEI activities and supporting and collaborating with DEI networks at Radboud University.
  • Researching DEI themes for the benefit of employees and developing the DEI programme. Transparent and objective procedures for recruitment and selection that help us offer equal opportunities, find the best candidate and prevent unintentional labour market discrimination are one example. Offering ‘Recruitment and Selection Equal Opportunities Training’ for all application committee members and recruiters.
  • Taking initiatives to prevent exclusion, discrimination and racism, and initiatives to remove barriers to participation in the academic community. Examples include increasing opportunities for employees who fall under the Participation Act and organising the Keti Koti Table.

4. Social Safety

€300,000 per year

We are striving to achieve a safe environment where amenability, equality, openness and consideration for others are important. A socially safe environment is something we create together. Employees are able to be themselves and treat each other respectfully regardless of origin, belief, gender, sexual orientation, disability, role or position.

Interventions in the area of social safety are broken down as follows:

  • Organisational structure: addressing social safety problems in the university’s organisational structure. One example of an intervention is ‘Enhancing skills and clarifying roles of HR in identifying and tackling undesirable behaviour’.
  • Organisational culture: behaviour and culture in the workplace. The discussion about integrity, standards and values, as well as cultural and demographic diversity in terms of employee backgrounds, provides an insight into the causes and effects of behaviour and helps us develop social integrity standards for collaboration. As Radboud University, we are currently developing a common language in this area. One example of an intervention is ‘Developing social safety skills for employees’.
  • Support structure: complainants, supervisors and offenders know: you are not alone. In addition to the existing, more reactive support structure, we are also focusing on prevention, aftercare, cooperation between the professionals and learning together/learning from each other. One example of an intervention is ‘Organisation of a social safety peer consultation for professionals from the support structure and (partly separately and partly together) for supervisors, to help ensure that signals, reports and complaints from employees regarding undesirable behaviour are received and addressed effectively’.

5. Other facilities

€170,000 per year

  • Research, impact and effect measurement 

To increase the impact of the interventions taken under the above themes, it is important that the right interventions are used at the right time and with the right target group(s). Research is therefore required into needs and the target group, and an impact and effect measurement has to be performed. The results are used to further develop the existing programme or to add additional interventions to it.

  • Development platform gROW 

The existing development platform, on which more than 100 e-learning modules are offered to employees on an ongoing basis, has become an integral part of the organisation. Alongside the continuation of the licence, further developing this platform in a way that fits in with the organisation’s current needs is also desirable.

  • Back-up budget for other programmes, such as ‘Recognition and rewards’ and the ‘Leadership programme’, insofar as these tie in with the themes mentioned above.

6. Facilities for representative bodies

€140,000 per year

The spending objective ‘facilities for representative bodies’ in the 2019-2023 agreement will be continued and indexed in the 2024-2028 agreement. The compensation regulations for representative bodies will apply here. In addition, the costs of secretarial support for the employee organisations in the Local Council will be financed from the DECFs (€40,000).

Accountability, evaluation and reallocation

After the end of each calendar year the spending of the decentralised employment condition funds will be discussed in the Local Council. The overall budget for the various spending objectives for the years 2024 to 2028 has been specified and will be maintained as such. The budgets have been allocated to the separate spending objectives on the basis of assumptions. Although these assumptions allow accurate budgeting in advance, there remains uncertainty about actual

use. One spending objective may require a slightly smaller budget than estimated in a particular year and another a slightly bigger one. In such cases it is possible for the budget to be shifted between spending objectives in the budget year in question. In other words, the overall budget is available for all spending objectives collectively.

If the budget intended for a spending objective is exceeded or underspent, this budget may be adjusted accordingly for subsequent years. The Executive Board will only make use of this reallocation mechanism in specific cases after making agreements on this matter with the trade unions in the Local Council.

Thus agreed in Nijmegen, 4 March 2024.