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Legal protection, legislation and regulations

Legal status

The legal status of UG staff members is laid down in their employment contract, in the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities (CAO NU), in UG regulations, and in the Dutch Civil Code.

Employment contract

A staff member’s employment contract contains the agreements made between the employer and the individual staff member. These agreements concern the position and scope and period of employment, among other matters.

Staff members who were employed by the UG before the Standardization of Civil Servants’ Legal Status Act came into force on 1 January 2020 were appointed under the former public service law via an appointment letter. This appointment letter was converted into an employment contract as from 1 January 2020. As a result, this group of staff now falls under employment law and no longer under public service law.


The CAO NU stipulates the legal status and terms of employment for all staff members of Dutch universities. The CAO NU regulates matters such as salary, allowances and their respective conditions, leave hours, and so on.

UG regulations

For certain topics, the Board of the University has established specific terms of employment for the UG in agreement with the local trade unions. Examples of such topics include commuting costs, working from home allowances, and so on. For more information, take a look at:

Legal protections

The basic rule is that disputes between a staff member and the Board of the UG as the employer can be presented to the civil district or subdistrict court. The following exceptions to this rule have been stipulated in the CAO NU:

Dispute resolution regulations

For a number of specific legal status matters, the Sectoral Regulations on Disputes within Dutch Universities state that the dispute may be presented to an independent Disputes Committee within the institution.

This may be done for the following matters:

a. performance appraisal
b. position change without prior agreement or other arrangements with the employer
c. refusal of a promotion in accordance with the salary scale
d. awarding, rejection, cancellation, or repayment of study facilities
e. refusal of consent to perform additional activities
f. fulfilment of salary agreements and the execution of the Options Model
g. fulfilment of leave entitlement

You may disagree with the written (and/or electronic) decision of the employer in regards to a matter described in these regulations. In this case, you may present the case to the Disputes Committee within four weeks by sending an email to

Job ranking and description

If you do not agree with your job ranking and/or description in line with the University Job Ranking (UFO) profile, the procedure to follow is again an internal one. You may submit your concerns to the Board of the University within four weeks of the provisional adoption of your job description and/or ranking.


If the UG as an employer wishes to dismiss a staff member, the University must request permission to do so from the Employee Insurance Agency (UWV) implementing body or from the district judge. Which of these two bodies must be consulted depends on the reason for dismissal. Permission must be granted by the UWV in the case of dismissal due to illness or reorganization. Permission must be granted by the district judge in the case of dismissal due to a disturbed employment relationship, for instance.

It is also possible for the employer and staff member to decide on dismissal by mutual consent. Any agreements made to this end must be laid down in a so-called settlement agreement. No permission from the UWV or from the district judge is necessary for this.


In addition to the above-mentioned topics regarding formal legal status, other issues regarding legal status may arise. In such a case, it is advisable to talk to your manager and/or HR advisor as soon as possible.

If this does not result in a solution, it may be possible to submit a complaint. This flowchart provides an overview of where you can go with which complaint.

Last modified:14 November 2023 4.37 p.m.
View this page in: Nederlands