Knowledge Base

Welcome to the Expatax Knowledge Base containing hundreds of answers to questions we received about topics concerning tax, payroll, accounting, legal, business etc. related to the Netherlands. Search in our Knowledge Base or browse the different categories. Expatax is a Dutch tax and accounting firm specialized in assisting international workers, freelancers and companies. Don't hesitate to contact us if you need assistance or check our website.

What is a CAO?

Collectieve Arbeids Overeenkomst" or in English "Collective Labour Agreement".

If you run a company in the Netherlands, you may have to deal with collective labour agreements, which specify collective agreements concluded between employers, employers’ organisations, employees and employee organisations regarding wages and other conditions of employment. The government is not a party to these agreements.

A CAO can be entered into per company and per business sector. The CAO must be registered with the Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment. If a CAO has been declared universally binding for your sector, you are obliged as an employer to comply with it. You must state in the individual employment contracts whether a CAO applies.

Obligations under collective labour agreements for businesses outside the Netherlands

If your business is based outside the Netherlands and you temporarily post employees to the Netherlands, the EU Secondment Directive will apply to you. Under this directive, you must always check whether there is a mandatory CAO for your sector. If there is, you as a foreign business must observe a number of key provisions in this CAO. These include provisions about the minimum wage, working hours and breaks and holiday entitlements.

If there is no CAO, you have to make an individual agreement with the employees about the labour conditions, preferably in writing. The legal rules are the basis for this agreement.
Attached Files
There are no attachments for this article.
Comments (3)
Comment by Albert on Tue, Oct 11th, 2016 at 10:59 AM
Hello Arjan, My Irish Limited Company is posting pilots who fly for Ryanair, but work for me to Eindhoven. It is on a permanent basis, however How do I begin the process of making a CAO in this industry sector - as a foreign employer/withholding agent? Also is it necessary to provide a CAO in this situation?
Comment by Arjan Enneman on Mon, Oct 17th, 2016 at 1:04 PM
In my opinion it is not necessary to provide a CAO in your situation. It looks like individual airlines have agreed CAO‘s with their employees and there is no general CAO for all pilots. You can consult with Ryanair about this,
Comment by Shiloh Miller on Mon, Oct 17th, 2016 at 7:21 PM
Question: I wish to set up a BV that will employ professionals from various foreign countries, (NOT from The Netherlands), and they will be seconded to a construction company in Africa/Nigeria (NOT in the Netherlands). Will the various rules in the Netherlands apply in such situation upon the dutch BV? Will the employees have any rights in the Netherlands towards their employer. The applicable law on the Employment contract will not be Dutch.
Security Code Security Code
Related Articles RSS Feed
Taxable income from health care reimbursements
Viewed 2273 times since Tue, Apr 16, 2013
What is a non-competition clause ("concurrentiebeding")?
Viewed 62120 times since Sun, Feb 17, 2013
Brochure: Payroll Services
Viewed 4132 times since Mon, Nov 7, 2011
Working in the Netherlands temporary with an A1 statement which excludes Dutch social security contributions.
Viewed 25811 times since Wed, Jan 9, 2013
Which information should a pay slip contain?
Viewed 8887 times since Sun, Feb 17, 2013
What are the public holidays in the Netherlands in 2013?
Viewed 15110 times since Wed, Jan 9, 2013
What is the minimum wage in the Netherlands in 2015?
Viewed 18027 times since Thu, Oct 30, 2014
From 1 January 2012 the requirements with regards to delaying a day off change.
Viewed 2980 times since Mon, Nov 7, 2011
Does an employer legally have to offer a written employment contract to the employee?
Viewed 2595 times since Sat, Feb 16, 2013
New salary criteria for knowledge migrants since 1 January 2013
Viewed 5403 times since Wed, Jan 9, 2013