Agreement on spending objectives for decentralised employment conditions funding

As determined by the Executive Board and the Local Council on 31 January 2019

1. General

In 1988, the Executive Board and the trade unions (united in the Local Council, hereinafter referred to as LC) gained control over the working conditions, and from 1989 have been responsible for the expenditure of the accompanying employment conditions funding made available to the university. The most recent agreement was signed on 20 June 2014 for the period 2014-2018.

On 31 January 2019, a new agreement was reached between the parties for the term from 1 January 2019 to 31 December 2023. The arrangements in the agreement will enter into force with effect from 1 January 2019, with the exception of the sports allowance referred to in point 1b. That allowance will come into effect from 1 January 2020.

2. Budgetary consequences

The accumulated reserves of the decentralised employment conditions funding up to 31 December 2018 are expected to amount to €656,469. These reserves will be spent over the next five years and will be recorded in the annual accounts as earmarked funds.

In 2018, the transferred amount of decentralised employment conditions funding (after indexation) was €1,464,865. Over the course of 2019, this amount will be indexed by 2.4% (2.6% pay rise with effect from 1 February 2019), resulting in a transfer of €1,500,021. The indexation will be reviewed annually on the basis of wage development.

The total annual budget of the decentralised employment conditions funding 2019-2023 is rounded to €1,630,000 (transfer of €1,500,021 + reserve €656,469/5).

3. Spending objectives

The parties have agreed that the spending objectives from the 2014-2018 agreement will be maintained. The 2014-2018 agreement is attached to the current agreement.

In conjunction with the themes from the HR agenda 2015-2020, the spending objectives have been organised in a number of themes: sustainable employability, talent development and personal leadership, diversity and inclusion, and facilities for representative bodies. Given the duration of the agreement (five years), not all activities are named and expanded upon in advance in this agreement. To implement the HR agenda, additional concrete actions will be formulated and initiated by the various theme groups and these will be tied in. However, the funds will be distributed and budgeted across different themes beforehand. At least once a year, an agenda with a budget for the various themes will be drawn up and submitted to the trade unions in the Local Council for approval. In any case, concretely developed projects for which financing from the decentralised employment conditions funding is requested will be discussed by the Local Council in a timely fashion.


Theme   Budget
Sustainable employability Career development etc. € 266,000
  Vitality € 236,500
  Specific target groups € 740,000
Talent development and (personal) leadership   € 150,000
Diversity and inclusion   € 150,000
Facilities for representative bodies   € 60,000
Total   € 1,602,500
To be determined (€1,630,000 - €1,602,500)   € 27,500

4. Elaboration on the themes

Theme 1: Sustainable employability

It is very important to Radboud University that all its employees are working in the right position, and that they are happy and healthy, now and in the future. Sustainable employability encompasses two main themes: career development and vitality. Care and attention for sustainable employability starts on the very first day of every staff member’s career and only ends the day the staff member retires. As an organisation, we facilitate and create frameworks, supervisors set the example, provide attention and guidance, but the ultimate responsibility for sustainable employability lies with the employees themselves. The personal leadership and talent development themes are closely connected with this topic.

The decentralised employment conditions funding provides contributions to the development and deployment of tools that:

  1. contribute to the long-term employability of workers;
  2. contribute to the dialogue between management and employee in relation to sustainable
    employability, and
  3. improve the flow of information about sustainable employability to the staff members.

In doing this, we take into account the specific life stages of our staff members, each with a number of general characteristics. For instance, for younger people it will be about the work-life balance, for older people it will be about working longer than previously was the standard.

1a. Career development and mobility, including outplacement support (werk-naar-werk) (€ 266,000)

Staff career development is at the core of sustainable employability. This requires the organisation to have a clear vision of the career paths for the different groups of employees. The introduction of a framework for tenure and career tracks for academic staff form the first steps towards this. Over the coming years, the career perspective will be clarified for other scientific target groups (starting with postdocs and junior lecturers). A clear career policy is also necessary for support and management staff to realise the desired mobility in the group.
With the slogan "create your own career", we clearly put the responsibility for career development into the hands of our employees as well. The focus for the next few years will be even more emphatically on individual and group support of the target groups with specific career issues (temporary academic staff and support and management staff).

Specific activities (not an exhaustive list):

  • Career development and mobility – continuation of agreement 2014-2018 (€ 166,000)
    • Comments: For career development and mobility, the agreement of 2013-2018 will be continued, see text of the agreement. To this end, a sum of €166,000 will be made available from the decentralised employment conditions funding.

Other activities (€ 100,000):

  • Outplacement support – continuation of agreement 2014-2018
    In addition to the activities from the current agreement, we want to focus more on unemployment prevention. The largest target group within this is academic staff with temporary contracts. We want to include the following activities:

    • Development of instructional videos, for example on preparing a resume, a LinkedIn profile, etc.
    • Group-based development assessments with learning elements for postdocs and junior lecturers: participants will gain a better understanding of strengths and weaknesses, and will work directly on improving skills.
    • Two-day training course for postdocs focused on creating a clear profile for the labour market
    • Lunch meetings on outplacement support for PhD candidates
  • Additional tools to assist in the mobility of support and management staff include:

    • Improve the transparency of possible (vertical) career progressions: investigate whether setting up “job families” (e.g. Finance, HR, Logistics, etc.) can help achieve this.*
    • “My career in ...”: developing workshops and supports on the basis of job families (competency tests, motivation, career planning for instance).
    • Develop tools to encourage the dialogue between manager and staff member in relation to mobility.
  • Career policy for academic personnel: clarify career paths and career perspective for the various target groups, and develop policy. Start: junior lecturers and postdocs.
  • In pilots, experiment with flexible and interdisciplinary work methods outside the existing structures, so as to broaden the view and to lower the threshold for mobility.

*  For the categorisation of successive job levels, it is important that a connection is created within these “job families”
to the responsibility levels in the University Job Ranking System (UFO). This applies in particular to marked differences in “required knowledge and skills for a position”, “complexity of problems worked on within a position” and “scope of responsibilities in a position”. This provides employees with insight into the elements of a position they need to focus on in
preparation of taking the next (vertical) step.

1b. Vitality (€ 236,500)

Health, work pressure, and absence (prevention) are themes that are very important to Radboud University, and we will be focusing on those even more emphatically in the coming period. The task force for Vitality and Prevention of Absence has invested a lot of energy in a Radboud University- wide analysis over the past period, and they are now developing a plan of action for the coming years. Awareness, making it a topic of conversation, and custom supports are important goals for the coming years.

Specific activities (not an exhaustive list):

  • Sports allowance (€ 136,500)
    • Comments: The Executive Board and the unions emphasise the focus on fitness and health of staff members. It is important and necessary, also in the light of sustainable employability. This agreement elaborates on the proposal by the unions to make a sports allowance available to all employees as an incentive for the employee to work on their own vitality. All employees can qualify for a sports allowance, regardless of whether they have a sports membership at the RSC or elsewhere.

      The starting point is that this is a tax-free allowance.
      The amount of the allowance is set at €100.00, tax-free, and based on a full-time contract. As the €100.00 allowance is paid in proportion to the employment contract, the number of FTEs at the university was used as a base: 3250. If 42% request a sports allowance, the total will be 3250 x 42% x €100.00 = €136,500.

      In the implementation, a €100.00 budget can be added on a full-time basis, as a source in the Selection Model at the expense of the Decentralised Employment Conditions Funding (DAVG), which can only be used for the “sports allowance” option. Upon presentation of a receipt for a sports membership, the employee can submit the request for a sports allowance through the Selection Model.
      With the introduction of a sports allowance, the possibility for corporate sports (at the RSC) as an option in the selection model will be removed.

Other activities (€ 100,000):

  • Health and vitality at work: develop a website to provide all relevant information about this topic in an accessible and practical way; also tie these in with the career portal and expand to make tests easily accessible for instance.
  • Create awareness among workers in regards to lifestyle, health, and job satisfaction and provide suitable supporting programmes (such as Fit in balans, Lifeguard etc.)
  • A support offering and active guidance of departments in relation to their action plans around work pressure.
  • Workshops and individual counselling in relation to the theme work pressure & stress; also, specific focus on the target group of PhD students (further research in 2018).
  • Develop and implement tips and tools for increasing job satisfaction.


1c. Specific target groups (€ 740,000)

  • Substitutes during parental leave – continuation of agreement 2014-2018 (€ 490,000)
  • Seniors policy - continuation of agreement 2014-2018  (€ 250,000)


  • Part of the decentralised employment conditions funding is used for the replacement of employees on paid parental leave. The purpose of the scheme is to prevent a threshold for employees who wish to take parental leave. The employee must be able to take up parental leave worry-free, without creating a disproportionate additional burden for colleagues. To achieve this, a department is eligible for a contribution from the decentralised employment conditions funding if the employee on parental leave was replaced, or where the increased workload has been otherwise taken care of (for example, by engaging temporary agency workers or student assistants, or a temporary extension of working hours for other employees).

    Since the replacement costs are dependent on the salary of the employee on parental leave, the following differentiation is applied:

  For replacement available per parental leave participant
Scale 1 to 5 € 2,600
Scale 6 to 9 € 3,500
Scale 10 to 14 € 5,500
Scale 15 to 18 € 9,000
  • The compensation for a replacement during parental leave was increased substantially during the Local Council of 1 July 2016. The evaluation of this scheme throughout 2017 has shown that the budget was greatly exceeded (total €487,677). The declarations were much higher than before because of replacements in higher positions, and the total number of employees for which compensation for a replacement was requested increased somewhat (from 91 in 2016 to 104 in 2017, so 13 more). This increase cannot be explained by general birth rates: they dropped nationwide compared to 2016. The increase may in part also be explained by the number of employees that enjoyed (paid) parental leave in 2017: There were 135 in 2017, and 127 in 2016 (so eight more than in 2016).

    It appears that the increase is due to a combination of the increased allowance, the communication about the increase and a larger number of participants in higher scales. In this context, the annual budget is further specified at €490,000.

  • The allocation for the seniors policy of €250,000 (on average) per year over the next five years has decreased sharply when compared to the agreement 2014-2018 (€630,000) as it concerns expiring schemes. The course for the next five years looks like this:
2019 € 385,480
2020 € 339,686
2021 € 264,396
2022 € 176,424
2023 € 70,799
Total € 1,236,785

Theme 2: Talent development and personal leadership (€ 150,000)

In order to possess the right qualities for good education, research, and support, staff members must be allowed to continuously develop themselves. Each staff member has their own personal needs and wishes, as well as their own responsibilities. Radboud University sees lifelong learning and thus professional and personal growth as a matter of course. It provides space as well as direction to development, so that employees can discover their own talents, develop them further, and use them effectively – both inside and outside our organisation.

Together, we want to create a culture in which growth and development are the norm. Supervisors set an example and make it a priority. Staff members show “personal leadership”: taking responsibility within their professional role, directing their own career, and entering into the open and courageous dialogue with colleagues and supervisors.

With the aid of decentralised employment conditions funding, the proposal is to develop and implement clear frameworks, processes, and tools to promote personal leadership and talent development.

Specific activities (not an exhaustive list):

  • 2019: organise a comprehensive conference around the themes of personal leadership, vitality, and talent development; thematic continuation in the years afterwards
  • Develop an online tool for staff to promote personal leadership, sustainable employability, and talent development
  • Implement tools that promote learning in the work environment (e.g. e-learning, mentoring, rotation of work)
  • Radboud University-wide introduction of development assessments for specific roles (possibly also e-assessments to lower the threshold for self-reflection)
  • Make feedback and the conversation about (personal) leadership more accessible: a broad introduction of 360 degree feedback
  • Pilots for strategic training schedules per department (anticipating future skills, matching with individual qualities, and developing these talents)
  • Support for teams to gain insights into qualities, and to strengthen the interplay of those qualities within a team

Theme 3: Diversity and inclusion (€ 150,000)

Radboud University is committed to its history as an emancipation university and regards diversity, equality, and inclusion as socially equitable for everyone regardless of gender, religion, ethnicity, age, mental and physical opportunities, or any other aspect that is unique to the staff member. Numerous studies indicate that the experiencing and increasing diversity promotes excellence, scientific progress and innovation, and an increased sense of belonging to the organisation.

From the decentralised employment conditions funding (continuation of agreement 2014-2018), tools are used to promote diversity and inclusion where we strive for an inclusive work culture: ‘an atmosphere and process in which all existing talents are seen and utilised, where different ideas are heard, and where no one is implicitly or explicitly excluded based on “being different”.’

Specific activities (not an exhaustive list):

  • Awareness and professionalism:
    • Organising sessions and dialogue for staff members and supervisors (e.g., stereotyping, forms of hierarchy, biases in decision making)
  • Recruitment, selection, and onboarding:
    • Redesigning the selection procedure and train committee members based on scientific knowledge on diversity
    • Introducing a “buddy on the job” system (assign a colleague as first point of contact for all questions) for a more flexible start.
  • Integration of the diversity topic in the range of training courses for employees and supervisors
  • Integration of the diversity theme in events around the theme of internationalisation

Theme 4: Facilities for representative bodies (€ 60,000)

The spending objective “facilities for representative bodies”' in the agreement 2014-2018 is continued in the agreement 2019-2023.

5. Accountability, evaluation, and reallocation

The Local Council will discuss the expenditure of the decentralised employment conditions funding after the end of each calendar year. The total budget for the years 2019 to 2023 is allocated for the various objectives, and will be managed as such. The awarding of the budgets to individual objectives is done on the basis of assumptions. Although they are useful for creating a budget well in advance, uncertainty remains about actual use. Particularly because a number of actions will connect to the development of the HR agenda 2015-2020, a living document, in which actions are still formulated and initiated (see also above at point 3).

One spending objective might require less than the estimated budget one year, another might need more. In those cases, it is possible to shift the budget between spending objectives within the budgetary year. In other words, the total budget is available for all spending objectives combined.

If the budget of a spending objective is overspent or underspent, then the budget will be adjusted accordingly for the following years. The Executive Board will only apply this reallocation mechanism for clearly defined cases after a consultation and agreement with the trade unions in the Local Council.