3. Customized conditions of employment (AVOM)

Preliminary note

AVOM affords employees the opportunity, within the possibilities of an efficient and effective conduct of business (refer to article 8), to make choices with respect to the composition of their terms of employment package. Participation in the system is on a voluntary basis.

1. Definitions

Resource: the terms of employment that are used;
Objects: the terms of employment that are acquired;
Remuneration: refer to article 1.1, definition 3 of the CAO-OI;
Salary: refer to article 1.1, definition 16 of the CAO-OI;
Salary per hour: refer to article 1.1 definition 18 of the CAO-OI.

2. Who can participate and to what extent?

Each employee may participate in AVOM, unless if the AVOM option has been chosen the remaining employment time is shorter than 6 months and there is no prospect to extension. This condition does not apply if vacation leave hours are used as a source for the objective of money.
The AVOM option can be made once a year. At a local level, the employer may deviate from this in the employee's favour.
For those not in full-time employment, the number of hours to be deployed is calculated in proportion to the agreed working hours (to be multiplied by the size of the appointment for part-timers and to be multiplied by the agreed percentages of parental leave).

3. The resources

Under AVOM there are two resources:
Resource 1: hours of vacation leave;
Resource 2: gross salary

3.1. Resource 1: hours of vacation leave
The contribution of hours of vacation leave occurs on grounds of a written arrangement. Hours of vacation leave can be turned in with a minimum of sixteen and a maximum of 120 hours per year. For the object saving leave for the adjustment of working hours, the maximum that can be saved is 178 hours per year. The remaining balance over one year with full-time employment should amount to at least 160 hours of vacation. For those that are not active for the full duration of work the minimum and maximum number of hours that can be turned in as well as the remaining balance on vacation-leave hours is calculated in proportion to the number of working hours agreed upon.
The hours-of-vacation-leave resource cannot be used for the object reduction of commuting or for the union fees.
Employees who can prove that they make use of regular child-care can request payment of sixteen extra holiday-leave hours.

3.2 Resource 2: gross salary
The turning-in of gross salary shall be on grounds of a written arrangement on the reduction of the gross monthly salary by a fixed sum.
The employee has the following options:

  • A reduction during a period of one or twelve months starting in the month where the AVOM option commences. If the start date holds consequences for pension or social security another start-date is possible.
  • A reduction of the gross salary in the month that the vacation-leave money is paid.
  • If the turning in of gross salary is for the purchase of study-costs objects (refer to paragraph 4.4) the period can also be 24 or 36 months starting in the month where the AVOM option commences, or the reduction can take place in the months of May or December of the two or three consecutive years.
  • If turning-in gross salary is for the object of commuting, this option may, if the employee indicates their preference for this, be continued for a number of years. The reduction takes place starting in the month in which the AVOM-option commences and terminates when the grounds for this object cease to exist or the employee indicates that they no longer wish to exercise this option.

The following conditions are attached to the options:

  • The period cannot extend beyond the end date of employment.
  • The sum of the remaining monthly gross salary and allowances after reduction may not amount to less than the statutory minimum wage.
  • Agreement to reduce the gross salary leads to a lower vacation-leave pay, but this agreement may not lead to holiday pay lower than the minimum sum holiday pay.
  • The turning-in of the resource gross salary for the object of commuting expenses is only possible if the reduction in each month is fixed.

4. The objects

Under AVOM, the following objects exist:
Object 1: Buying hours of vacation leave
Object 2: Money
Object 3: Reduction of travel expenses from residence to work/bicycle scheme
Object 4: Reduction of the employee contribution to study costs
Object 5: Trade union membership fees
Object 6: Life-course savings scheme
Object 7: Saving leave for the adjustment of working hours

4.1 Object 1: Hours of vacation leave
The maximum number of available hours of vacation leave is eighty hours a year (for part-timers: in proportion to their employment). The hours of vacation leave are added to the leave balance without discernment as to their origin. The regular rules for taking leave (prescription, consultation with management) apply.

4.2 Object 2: Money
The maximum amount of vacation leave hours to be paid out is 120 hours per year (for part-timers: in proportion to their employment). The possibility of a further increase to a maximum of 178 hours will be decided in consultation with the competent works council before 1 January of each year. Such a decision may be made for groups of employees or for an integral part of the organisation. The resulting sum will be paid out with the gross salary for the month in which the AVOM choice begins.
Those in positions in scale 16, 17 and 18 may sell leave hours up to a maximum of two hundred hours. An opportunity to sell more hours will also be created for those in scale 15, with the proviso that the payment of a maximum of two hundred hours of vacation leave is decided on before 1 January of each year with the approval of the competent works council. The following limiting conditions apply to all employees who may sell a maximum of two hundred leave hours:

  • Selling more than 120 hours will only be considered within the framework of solving the problem of great build-ups of accumulated leave.
  • Selling more than 120 hours (per person, per calendar year) requires the consent of two parties (employee and management).
  • Actual participation in the extended AVOM will only take place if it is in line with the current government guidelines for top incomes.

Employees who can prove that they use regular child care for their children may have sixteen extra leave hours paid out within AVOM.

4.3 Object 3: Reducing commuting expenses & a bicycle
This AVOM object offers employee two possibilities:
4.3.1 An increase of the tax-free allowance for commuting expenses.
Employees who are partially or entirely accountable for the costs of travel from home to work and v.v., can, within the prevalent taxable boundaries, increase the tax-free payment for travel from home to work and vice versa by a sum comparable to the difference between the tax-exempted payment for travel from home to work and vice versa and any allowances received by the employer for the costs thereof. The amount of the tax-exempted sum depends on the number of travel days and the distance between home and work. This object is limited to the one-way travelling distance from home to work, measured with the ANWB route planner (fastest route), the minimum for payment of this entitlement fixed at €5 a month. In the event of long-term illness, this is terminated on the first day of the month following the month in which the employee reported ill.

4.3.2 A bicycle
Employees who chose this objects have freedom of choice, subject to certain conditions, with regard to the bicycle they wish to purchase. In consultation with the competent works council, the employer determines the conditions that this object should meet:
- The terms within which a bicycle may be purchased
- The definition of bicycle
- The amount of the sum that will be reimbursed for this purpose
- The accessories and/or insurance included in this amount
- The administrative handling of the transfer of ownership

4.4 Object 4: Reduction of employee contributions towards study costs
The costs of the studies that the employees wish to follow to enhance their employability within their own organisation or elsewhere are not always fully paid by the employer (article 6.2). This object gives the employee the opportunity to reduce that part of the costs that is not paid by the employer under this CAO with gross salary or the monetary value of a number of hours of vacation leave. The only restriction that applies to this object is that on an annual basis at least 160 hours of vacation leave should remain and that there is no maximum turning-in of 120 hours.

4.5 Object 5: Trade union membership fees
The employee who is a member of a trade union may allocate gross salary to trade union membership fees, in which case the employee himself must make the payment. If this object is chosen, relevant proof thereof needs to be submitted annually.

4.6 Object 6: Life-course savings
The life-course savings scheme only continues to apply to employees whose life-course savings credit was at least €3000 on 31 December 2011. These employees may continue to deposit a maximum of 12% of the gross annual salary into the life-course savings scheme. The resources for this object are hours of vacation leave and/or salary. For employees participating in the scheme, the total deposit may in no case exceed 210% of their gross income for that year. The criteria for the taking of leave are equal to the criteria laid down in this CAO for the purpose for which the leave is taken. If the employer agrees to the employee taking the leave, the employee may receive income from their life-course saving during their unpaid leave. The credit has to have been withdrawn before 1 January 2022. Refer to appendix 6 for the life-course savings scheme.

4.7 Object 7: Saving leave for the adjustment of working hours
In the context of sustainable employability and the balance between work and private life, the employee may reduce his working hours temporarily. In order to do this, the employee may save non-statutory leave days over a period of no more than five years and for a maximum of 890 hours on the basis of a full working week. Saving leave will not begin before the employee has reached agreement with his employer in mutual consultation, establishing when, how and for what period the working hours will be adjusted.
This purpose cannot be combined with participation in the Generation Plan (see appendix 5).

Application and preconditions for this purpose

  1. The employee can save extra-statutory leave over a maximum period of five years and a maximum of 890 hours during a full working week.
  2. Saving leave can only start after the employee and the employer have mutually agreed how and for what period the working hours will be adjusted. If the working hours change during the saving period, the agreements made are reviewed.
  3. If the working hours are adjusted, the remaining working hours are at least 60% of the size of the actual working week that applies before the start of saving.
  4. The employee who has a surplus of leave from the desired moment of starting leave for this purpose (see ent article 5.3 paragraph 5), can use the surplus of leave for this purpose and additionally save up to five years until up to 890 hours.
  5. The leave is not granted with a view to early retirement / pre-retirement.
  6. This goal does not go hand in hand with participation in the generation plan scheme (see appendix 5).
  7. The saved leave is deemed to have been taken up to five years after the employee has stopped saving leave. After those five years, the leave that has not been taken up will lapse (see article 5.4, paragraph 2).
    In the event of illness, leave is accrued in accordance with the agreements in article 5.6.

5. From resource to object

5.1 Value date
The valuation of the resources turned-in and objects takes place in the month in which the AVOM option takes effect. Settlement of resources and objects takes place against this value. A modification in the remuneration after the month in which the AVOM option takes effect does not lead to correction of the settlement.

5.2 Value and costs of an hour of vacation leave
To determine the monetary value of an hour of vacation leave, the payment that applies in the month in which the AVOM option takes effect is taken as the starting-point. This is reduced for those who are not working in employment to payment such as would apply in the case of full-time employment. Turning in hours of vacation leave yields 1/165 part of this reduced remuneration. Acquiring hours of vacation leave costs 1/165 part of the reduced remuneration.

5.3 Allocation of gross salary
An arrangement on the reduction of the gross salary leads to a lower vacation-leave pay and end-of-year bonus. In offsetting the gross salary deployed with the purchasable objects, the value of the resources deployed is, if necessary, fixed at the gross salary deployed, increased by 16.33% (this being 8% holiday pay and 8.33% end-of-year bonus).

from resource -> ->->->->->->->-> to object
hours of vacation leave -> hourly value -> money
hours of vacation leave -> hourly value -> bicycle
hours of vacation leave -> hourly value -> study costs

gross salary -> multiplied by 1.1633 -> commuting expenses
gross salary -> multiplied by 1.1633 -> bicycle
gross salary -> multiplied by 1.1633 -> study costs
gross salary -> multiplied by 1.1633 -> trade union fees

gross salary -> multiplied by 1.1633 -> life-course savings scheme

6. Consequences of reducing the gross salary

Participation in AVOM has no effect on the amount of the allowances as mentioned in the articles 3.8 and 3.10 of this CAO, nor on the payment of overtime and leave hours. Reduction of the gross salary does have an effect on the contributions due to social insurances as well as on the claims on these social insurances.
Reduction of the gross salary does not lead to a change in the pensionable income, nor to a change in pension entitlements (survivor's pension, ABP Invalidity Pension and old-age pension) and their contributions.

7. The AVOM application procedure

7.1 Information
At the employee's request, the employer will supply detailed information on:
- The options
- Tax and other limiting conditions
- Consequences of the AVOM option as regards social insurance schemes etc., accompanied by sample calculations.

7.2 How to submit an application
Employees to whom the scheme is available (paragraph 2) can make their choice known by submitting a signed AVOM application form. Depending on the objects chosen, employees shall attach to the application form the required appendices and the statement that they have taken cognisance of the potential consequences of a reduction of gross salary. The employer shall supply written information on taxation and other consequences of the options, including the time frame within which the application has to be submitted. If they so wish, employees may request more detailed information from the personnel department on the consequences of their choice.

8. Criteria for the granting of the application

The employer shall observe the following criteria in handling the AVOM application:
a. The 'time-for-time' and 'money-for-money' options are always granted.
b. The 'time-for-money' and 'money-for-time' options are granted, unless
    - the option is incompatible with the working hours scheme made with the works
      council and/or with existing arrangements concerning staffing, availability and
      continuity within the department/organization
     - there are serious financial impediments.
If there are serious financial impediments, the employer shall consult with the works council to seek a solution for those cases in which 'time-for-money' options have been categorically rejected for financial reasons. To employees whose application has been rejected, the employer's current objection and appeal procedures apply. Employees whose application has been rejected may exercise another choice. The employer arranges the manner in which the AVOM application is further handled.

9. Interim revision

A choice once exercised can only be revised in exceptional situations to be decided by the employer.

10. Suspension of participation

Participation in AVOM can be suspended until such a time and insofar as the accrual of hours of vacation leave is arrested in connection with incapacity for work. The arrangement can be adjusted in the interim also in exceptional situations to be decided by the employer. The starting-point for the adjusted arrangement is that the financial obligations arising from the original arrangement are fully performed by the employee. The employer may deviate from this starting-point, on grounds of the hardship clause (article 1.15).

11. Termination

When it has become certain that the employment will be terminated during the agreed term of the arrangement, an adjusted arrangement will be made to suit the changed circumstances. Upon termination of the employment the remaining obligations will be offset against the net salary.

12. Final provisions

The fiscal consequences and social insurance schemes ensuing from participation in AVOM shall be borne entirely by the participating employee and are not compensated by the employer. The hardship clause (article 1.15) applies.