Chapter 6 – Sustainable employability

Table of Contents

Sustainable employability general

It is important that all employees are able to do the work they do in a qualified and motivated way throughout their careers and thus at different stages of their lives. Professional and personal development and training are essential to the employee to remain attractive to the present and any potential future employer. In addition, development is a condition of keeping the work enjoyable and challenging. The employees accept personal responsibility for their own development and employability and can in this respect rely on the support and facilities of the employer. A good balance between work and private life assists in this.
Depending on individual circumstances (‘life phase’) more time that is private may occasionally be required. Regulations have been included in the collective labour agreement for temporary or longer-term adjustments to working hours or part-time percentages. In addition, the collective labour agreement includes forms of extraordinary leave for specific events.

Education and professional development

Article 6.1 General

Education and professional development

Professional development and long-lasting employability is in the interest of both employer and employee. The annual budget for professional development and sustainable employability is a minimum of 2% of the wage sum. In their Annual Social Report, the employers report on the means that have been allocated to stimulate their employees’ development during the reporting year.

Article 6.2 Training

  1. The employee has a right and an obligation to training.
  2. Two types of training exist:
    a. Training in the framework of a proper exercise of the current or (demonstrable) future work.
    b. Training in the framework of broadening employability in the organisation or elsewhere. As a rule, 50% study leave is granted and 50% of the study expenses are reimbursed for training. Deviations from these percentages are possible if reasons are given why another percentage is more appropriate in view of the employer and employee’s interests. Furthermore, it is possible to prioritise either the percentage of study leave or the percentage of study expenses. If the training takes places in the organisation’s interest, full study leave is granted and study expenses are reimbursed for 100%.

Article 6.3 Procedure

  1. Every year, employer and employee will make arrangements as to the necessary and desired training. These arrangement can be made in the context of a performance or assessment interview, or at any other time.
  2. Both the employer and employee may initiate and propose training.
  3. he aim is to reach agreement. If no agreement can be reached, the employer may:
    – Impose an obligation to training as meant in article 6.2, paragraph 2, below a
    – Decide not to grant permission for training/payment.
  4. For employees employers under a civil-law employment contract the employer will set up a complaints procedure. For civil servants, the objections procedure in Awb applies.

Article 6.4 Professional development

  1. The employee and employer will make arrangements each year with regard to the required and desired professional development of the employee within or outside the organisation. The employee’s professional development interview can be combined with their assessment interview.
  2. The plan on the necessary investment in time and money referred to in article 6.2 shall be in writing.
  3. Once every five years, the employee is entitled to a professional advice on the employee’s career development.

Article 6.5 Career placements

  1. Pursuant to the development arrangements, employees may agree to a placement, prior to which written arrangements will be made as to the objective, term, coaching and assessment of the period of experience and their follow-up.
  2. The aim of the career placement is the gaining of specific experience by filling another position or performing other work.
  3. Career placement is for a term of two years.
  4. During the career placement, employees are entitled to the salary connected with the function, unless the extent of the training element occasions otherwise.
  5. After the career placement, employees are entitled to a position equivalent to the one they held when the career placement started.
  6. After the career placement, employees are entitled to the salary that they would have been paid if career placement had not taken place..

Article 6.6 My choice step

  1. Within the framework of the agreements that are made concerning the professional development and sustainable emplyability of employees, employers and employees may agree that employees may fill a position that is valued at a lower level than their current position, as suits the life stage and development stage that they are in. In that case, the salary scale of the lower job level will come to apply to the employee.
  2. If the employee is, for reasons of sustainable employability, assigned to a position with a lower salary scale than the scale applicable to said employee, then the employee is, at the time of assignment, compared to the applicable salary, classified in the same grade of the lower salary scale or, failing the same, the nearest grade of the lower salary scale.
  3. If the thus established salary is lower than the applicable salary of the employee then the difference in salary is phased out over five years. After the fifth year the phase-out of the salary difference expires.
    a. The first year the employee receives 100% of the difference,
    b. the second year 80%,
    c. the third year 60%,
    d. the fourth year 40%,
    e. the fifth year 20%.
  4. The employee who voluntarily and with the employer’s permission opt for demotion within 10 years preceding their AOW entitlement age may make use of the possibility that ABP offers to continue their pension accrual at the salary level belonging to their former position.

Article 6.7 Further rules

The employer may make further rules to implement the articles 6.1 thru 6.6.

Article 6.8 Assessment interview

In consultation with the Works Council, the employer establishes a regulation on how the performance of the employee and the professional development is monitored and supported.

Adjustment of activities

Article 6.9 Generation Plan Scheme

Employees who are five years of less away from their state pension (AOW) age can participate in the Generation Plan Scheme. The scheme offers the possibility of taking extraordinary leave with partial preservation of the salary The Generation Plan Scheme forms an integral part of appendix 5 to this CAO.

Article 6.10 Early Retirement Scheme (RVU) until December 31, 2025

If there is reason to do so, the employer and employee can make individual (customized) agreements for an RVU in order to reach the state pension age in good health and vitality, taking into account the applicable (fiscal) regulations. Such an agreement can be made within three years before the state pension date.

Temporary reduction of working hours

  1. For a temporary reduction of working hours, leave can be saved in AVOM for a maximum of five years. This means that 178 hours per year and a total of 890 hours can be saved. In advance, it must be established when the aforementioned leave is to be taken. As a result of a temporary reduction in working hours through the use of leave, the scope of the employment and salary will not change. Details are mentioned in article 4.7 of the AVOM scheme in appendix 3 of the CAO-OI.
  2. In addition to saving for leave, the employee has the possibility of taking unpaid leave. The employee and the employer agree on arrangements about the activities and the work that may need to be transferred. In case of unpaid leave, the scope of the employment does not change. The pension accrual will continue unchanged, with the employee part and the employer part of the pension contribution being borne by the employee. Details are mentioned in article 5.7 of the CAO-OI.
  3. The employee may work part-time, temporarily or long-term, due to changes in work or private life. In principle, a request for part-time work, also in staff and managerial positions, will be honoured. See article 1.6 of the CAO-OI for this.
  4. In the weekly leave pattern (see article 5.2 of the CAO-OI) the employee can take a fixed number of hours per week of holiday leave according to a fixed pattern per week or cluster of weeks. The choice applies to the entire calendar year.


The ABP pension scheme offers the employee the possibility of retiring at the age of 60. See also article 7.1 of the CAO-OI and the information on
The employee can retire completely but part-time retirement for one or more days a week is also possible. It is, for instance, also possible to rely on the Generation Plan Scheme (article 6.9 of the CAO-OI) in combination with part-time pension for the days that the employee starts working less.

Specific leave for specific reasons

The CAO-OI includes specific leave options for certain circumstances. It regards paid pregnancy leave and maternity leave and paternity leave, paid parental leave and paid care leave to care for a sick loved one.

Pregnancy and maternity leave and paternity leave

The pregnant employee is, in connection with the pregnancy and childbirth, entitled to paid pregnancy and maternity leave for a maximum of sixteen weeks. This leave is extended to a maximum of sixteen weeks, insofar as the maternity leave prior to the presumed date of delivery is less than six weeks for reasons other than illness.
After the childbirth by the partner, the employee is entitled to five weeks of additional paternity leave, to be taken within six months after the birth of the child. The said leave is unpaid. Details are mentioned in article 5.12 of the CAO-OI.

Parental leave

As a (foster) parent or adoptive parent of a child who is not yet eight years old, the employee can take parental leave for six months. The CAO-OI regulates that during three of these six months the payment of the salary and potential allowances is continued for 55% if the relevant child is four years of age or under. The parental leave can be taken consecutively but can also be distributed over a longer period, for instance one day a week. The parental leave can be divided into three periods. At the request of the employee, the parental leave can be divided into a maximum of six periods of at least one month. Details are mentioned in articles 5.13 up to and including 5.16 of the CAO-OI.

Care leave

To care for a sick loved one, a maximum of two weeks of paid leave is granted. The aforementioned leave can be extended unpaid. If there is question of a life-threatening illness then the paid care leave amounts to eight weeks of which four weeks are paid in full and four weeks at 50%. Care leave can be extended unpaid if the situation so requires. Details are mentioned in article 5.11 of the CAO-OI.

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