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Collective labour agreement (CLA) for temporary workers

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Collective labour agreement (CLA) for temporary workers

On May 9, 2016 by Dutch Umbrella Company

Collective labour agreement

If you currently are on a flexible work arrangement in the Netherlands you’re probably familiar with the fact that these flexible work arrangements have different rules and regulations than a standard employment. Therefore a special collective labour agreement (CLA) is in place; the NBBU CLA.

The NBBU (Dutch Association of Mediation and Employment Agencies) is a branch organization for all intermediary agencies in temporary and flexible work employment, such as companies like WePayPeople’s Umbrella Services. Their CAO for temporary and flexible workers is simple and flexible, and meant to avoid complicated regulations and reduce administrative burdens. It contains agreements on payments, leave, holidays, pension and your rights as a temporary worker.

The phase system

The NBBU CAO has a phase system, consisting of four phases. Your legal status as a temporary worker depends on the phase you’re in; the longer employed through the intermediary of a temporary employment agency, the more rights you gain.

During the first 26 weeks of your employment you are in phase 1. Then you move on to phase 2, which lasts for 104 weeks. As of July 1st 2016 this is brought back to 52 weeks. In both phase 1 and 2 you only get paid for the hours you’ve actually worked.

If phases 1 and 2 have been completed and a new temporary employment contract is entered into after an interval of more than 26 weeks, phase 1 will start over again. If phases 1 and 2 have been completed and the activities are continued you will enter phase 3. In phase 3 you’re entering an temporary employment contract with a start and end date.

Phase 3 lasts for a maximum of 4 years, during which a maximum of 6 fixed-term temporary contracts may be entered into. During this phase you’re entitled to continuous wage payment. If the activities are continued after phase 3 or a new temporary employment contract is entered into within 26 weeks you will be in phase 4, meaning you are entitled to have an employment contract for an indefinite term.

Remuneration and other provisions

The NBBU CLA has a pay equivalence rule, intended to guarantee temporary workers equal payment of salary. This means that your wages are the same as that of employees working in equivalent positions, with the same age and work experience. It covers the following components:
➢ Pay period wages (including any raises)
➢ Period wage at equal labour time
➢ Allowances for overtime and non-standard or irregular hours
➢ Tax-free allowances (e.g. travel expenses)


If you have worked through the intermediary of a temporary employment agency for 26 weeks you start building up pension, provided you’re 21 years or older. You can transfer your pension if you start working via another temporary employment agency.

Days off

As a temporary worker you build up your rights to take leave. A full-time employment entitles you to 24 holiday days a year. You have to consult with the temporary employment agency in advance if you’d like to use your holiday days. The same rule applies to short leave (like doctor’s visits), special leave (e.g. relocation) or public holidays. You can never use more days than you’ve reserved. The agency will continue to pay your wages during holidays, short leave and special leave.

Sick leave

In case of sickness or accident you must serve two waiting days conferring entitlement to benefit. You are entitled to continue to receive 90% of the pay period wages, as long as the pay does not exceed the maximum daily benefit and is at least equal to your statutory minimum wage and during the term of the temporary employment contract, subject to a maximum of 52 weeks. After this period the statutory rules on continued payment in the event of sickness will apply.

This article discussed the NBBU CLA in outline and we’ve highlighted the most common provisions for you. However, other rules may apply depending on your employment contract or status, as the employment agency may have stipulated different terms in the contract. If you have any questions regarding your rights or specific benefits of the NBBU CLA be sure to contact us on +31 (0)20 820 1560 or

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