Together with the trade unions FNV, CNV Vakmensen, and De Unie, the ABU has arrived at a negotiation result that will be presented to the members of these parties. If the result is positive (which is considered likely), a new collective labour agreement for temporary agency workers will take effect. For the employers that follow the ABU CLA, this means that the employment conditions they have to apply will change. We will summarise these below:

When do the employment conditions change?

– The CLA runs from 17 November 2021 to 3 January 2023. However, many of the changes will only take effect from 2 January 2022, the first Monday of that year.

Changes to the Phase Model

One of the most important aspects of the collective agreement is the so-called phase model. Within this model, the temporary employment agency has the scope to conclude contracts with employees in a flexible manner. The duration of the different Phases (Phases A, B, and C) will be shortened, resulting in a permanent employment contract sooner. The following changes apply to each phase:

Phase A:

– From 3 January 2022, the maximum duration of Phase A will be 52 weeks worked, instead of 78 worked weeks;

  • This means that if the temporary agency worker starts working in Phase A/1-2 on or after 3 January 2022 – the first Monday of that year – this phase can last a maximum of 52 weeks;
  • Contracts still running in Phase A retain the 78 term;
    • However, from 2 January 2023, the period of 52 weeks worked will apply to all temporary workers. Has a secondment worker already worked 52 weeks? In that case the employment with the secondment worker is an employment in Phase B, after the 2nd of January 2023 – the first Monday of that year.
    • As of 2 January 2023, days not worked on which leave was taken will also count towards the calculation of the working hours (how long does the employee have a contract). However, the parties must still make agreements on this in the CAO as of 2023.

    Phase B:

    – The maximum duration of Phase B will be 3 years, instead of the 4 four years it consists of now. A maximum of 6 contracts can still be offered in Phase B.

    • This means that if the secondment agency worker starts working in Phase B on or after 3 January 2022, this phase can last a maximum of 3 years;
    • From 2 January 2023, the period of 3 years applies to all temporary workers in Phase B. Has a temporary worker already worked in Phase B for 3 years at that moment? In that case, if the employment with the secondment worker is continued after the 2nd of January 2023 – the first Monday of that year – an employment contract has will be regarded as an employment in Phase C.
      • With one exception! Agreements entered into before 17 November 2021 with an end date on or after January 2, 2023 may still be served in Phase B, even if this means that the term of 3 years is exceeded. Of course, this does not apply if the term is exceeded by more than 4 years, because then there would also be Phase C under the old CLA.


    In addition, changes are made within the framework of the compulsory pension for employees working under the ABU collective agreement. These changes are as follows:

    • The waiting period for mandatory participation in the StiPP pension will be reduced from 26 weeks worked to 8;
      – And please note: everyone who has been working as a temporary agency worker for 8 weeks or more on 1 January 2022 will start to accrue pension under the Basic Scheme on that date (no transitional period);

    • And after 52 weeks of pension accrual in the Basic Scheme, your employee will start accruing pension in the Plus Scheme;
    • The pension basis is adjusted to;
      • Wage for employee insurance purposes;
      • Increased by the employee’s pension contribution;
      • Decreases by the addition for tax purposes of any lease car;
      • Increased by wage that has been exchanged for tax-free reimbursements or provisions (Art. 20 Collective Labour Agreement for Temporary Agency Workers);

    Hirer’s remuneration:

    The hirer’s remuneration will be expanded with various elements, for example, one-off payments and home-working allowances will also fall under the hirer’s remuneration. In addition, bonuses that are applicable at the user company, as well as the period wage in any wage scale at the user company that corresponds with the position of the temporary employee, must also be applied to the temporary employee. In concrete terms, the new collective agreement also includes under the hirer’s remuneration:

    • All one-off payments regardless of the purpose or reason for the payment, except for periodically recurring payments;
    • Cost allowances, insofar as the private employment agency is permitted to pay these free of wage tax and social security contributions;
    • Work-from-Home allowances;
    • The applicable period wage in the scale of the job at the user company. The applicable period wage in the scale of the job at the user company;
  • Supplements for working in irregular circumstances and/or under (physically) stressful conditions. This may include: overtime, working at certain times or under certain conditions.

Special rule regarding Labour Migrants:

New rules will apply to temporary workers who are labour migrants. These rules mainly concern income security and transparency for the migrant worker. In summary, the rules are as follows:

  • A labour migrant who works for the first time for the temporary employment agency in the Netherlands, and comes to the Netherlands for this purpose, must receive at least the full-time minimum wage during the first two months, regardless of the duration of the contract and regardless of the number of hours actually worked.
  • A pro rata reduction of the duration of 2 months is possible, if it is clear that it concerns a project with a duration of less than 2 months.
    – If it transpires within two weeks after the commencement of the work of the labour migrant that he is dysfunctional or culpable, the income guarantee may lapse, provided the temporary employment agency cannot or does not want to employ the labour migrant on those grounds. The labour migrant will then be entitled to:

  • Homecoming guarantee, whereby transport costs are paid by the temporary employment agency;
    • Possibility to stay another 5 consecutive nights in the accommodation facilitated by the temporary employment agency at the temporary employment agency’s expense;
    • Waiver of any outstanding debts in connection with the accommodation for the work, insofar as they could not be retained/ settled on the basis of statutory regulations.
    • At the end of the agency work employment contract, the labour migrant housed by the secondment employment agency is entitled to a reasonable period of time to leave the accommodation.

Other important changes:

  • In 2022, the parties to the CAO will attempt to join the SPAWW, a foundation created to ‘repair’ the lost third year of unemployment benefits. Employers will then have to pay a certain premium to this SPAWW.
  • As of 17 November 2021, if a temporary agency employee cannot perform his work due to unworkable weather, the temporary employee will still be entitled to wages.

Please note! In the first instance, the above changes will only apply to employers who follow the ABU collective labour agreement. The NBBU is not yet part of this negotiation result. However, it is very likely that the NBBU will follow, or that the collective labour agreement will be declared generally binding for the temporary employment sector. In the latter case, the entire temporary employment sector will have to comply with these changes.

Any questions? Be sure to let us know!

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