15 December 2021 2 minutes
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What is the NBBU and what changes in 2022?

Are you familiar with the NBBU? The NBBU stands for the Dutch Association of Intermediary and Temporary Employment Agencies (Nederlandse Bond van Bemiddelings- en Uitzendondernemingen). It is one of the best known trade organizations for temporary employment agencies, payroll companies and other flex organizations in the Netherlands. Many temporary employment agencies are members of the NBBU. Are you a temporary employee and is the temporary employment agency where you work a member of the NBBU? If so, the company is obligated to adhere to the NBBU CLA. The NBBU CLA will change on January 1st of 2022. Read below about what this means for you.

How does the NBBU work?

Temporary workers are treated well in the Netherlands, especially if the temporary employment agency where you work is a member of the NBBU. This gives you, as a temporary worker, certain rights that the temporary employment agency must take into account. A characteristic of the NBBU collective agreement is the phase system. Your legal status as a temporary employee depends on the NBBU phase you are in at that moment. The rule here is: the longer you work, the more rights you have. This concerns rights such as a pension plan, notice period and continued payment of wages.

The fasesystem as of 2022

The NBBU phase system has four phases. The duration of each phase varies. You always start with phase 1. The phases depend on the number of weeks you work for the temporary employment agency. It is therefore only about how long you work for the employment agency, not how much. The number of hours you work in that period, therefore, does not matter.

The NBBU phase system will be changed as of January 3rd, 2022. This is because the NBBU has reached a new agreement with the trade unions involved, as a result of which a new collective agreement for temporary workers will take effect. One of the changes is the shortening of the phases. At the moment it is possible to work for 5.5 years on the basis of a temporary employment contract, but as of January 3rd, 2022 this will be a maximum of 4 years. Are you starting employment after January 3rd, 2022? Then you immediately fall under the new phase system of the NBBU. Are you already working through a temporary employment agency since before January 3rd, 2022? Then the new rules apply starting in January of 2023.

 

Phase 1-2 – The first 52 weeks

Phases 1 and 2 are often seen as one, because much is the same. As of January 3rd, 2022, this period will last a maximum of 52 weeks, while previously it lasted 78 weeks. Based on the NBBU CLA, a so-called temporary employment clause applies during phases 1 and 2, unless it has been agreed in the temporary employment contract that a temporary employment clause does not apply. A temporary employment clause is a provision in the temporary employment contract which ensures that the agreement between the temporary employee and the temporary employment agency ends when the hiring party terminates the assignment. Thus, end of assignment is end of temporary employment contract, also so in case of illness.

If there is an interruption of six months or more between the two temporary employment contracts, the counting of the weeks worked starts again at phase 1.

Please note

Are you already in phase 1-2 before January 3rd, 2022? Then a transitional arrangement applies. The new rule of 52 weeks worked does not apply immediately. The existing temporary employment contracts concluded before January 3rd, 2022 are continued. The new rule then only applies to you as of January 2nd, 2023.

If on the 2nd of January 2023 you have a temporary employment contract in phase 1-2, but have already worked more than 52 weeks, you will move directly on to phase 3.

 

Phase 3 – 3 years or 6 contracts

Have you been employed for more than 52 weeks? Then you are in phase 3. From the 3rd of  January, 2022 onward, this phase lasts a maximum of three years, previously it was a maximum of four years. During these three years you get a maximum of six fixed-term temporary employment contracts. In phase 3, no temporary employment clause applies.

You have the following rights during phase 3:

  • The temporary employment agency is required to notify you at least one month in advance that your contract will end or be extended. If they fail to do so, you are entitled to compensation in lieu of notice;
  • You are entitled to wages for the duration of your contract. If your work is not available, the employment agency will continue to pay you 100% and in some cases they are obligated to look for other work for you;
  • In case of illness you are entitled to continued payment of your wages. There may be waiting days. You will find this in your temporary employment contract;
  • Right to continued payment during holidays;
  • The right to pension accrual.

Please note

Are you already in phase 3 before January 3rd, 2022? Then a transitional arrangement applies. The rule of six temporary employment contracts in three years does not apply immediately. The existing temporary employment contracts in phase 3 concluded before January 3rd, 2022, will be continued. The new rule then only applies to you as of January 2nd, 2023.

As of January 2nd, 2023, the new rule that phase 3 lasts a maximum of three years applies to all temporary employees.

 

Phase 4 – Indefinite period of time

Have the years in stage 3 flown by? Then you are in phase 4. In general the same rights apply as in phase 3, but an important difference is that you will get a permanent contract with the employment agency. In this phase you have the most rights and security.

The following rights apply to you:

  • The legal notice period applies. You cannot be fired without good reason. This is only possible with a termination agreement, or permission from a judge or from the UWV.
  • You are entitled to wages for the duration of your contract. If your work stops, the employment agency must continue to pay you 100% and possibly look for other work for you;
  • You are entitled to continued payment during illness. There may be applicable waiting days, this is stated in your temporary employment contract;
  • Right to continued payment during holidays;
  • The right to pension accrual.

Also in phase 4, if there is an interruption of 6 months or more between two temporary employment contracts, the counting of the weeks worked starts again at the beginning of phase 1.

 

For clarification purposes, the table below:

Phase Before 01-01-2022 After 03-01-2022
NBBU phases 1 and 2 78 weeks 52 weeks
NBBU phase 3 4 years 3 years
NBBU phase 4 Indefinite time/permanent Indefinite time/permanent

 

In short, you build up more rights with the passing weeks and years. Keep a close eye on the new phase system of the NBBU. In addition, it is good to know what your temporary employment contract says about temporary employment clauses and any other issues, so that you are well aware of them.

 

Do you have any questions about the NBBU? Contact us!