Waged Individual Employment Agreement Or A Collective Employment Agreement
December 20, 2020
The underlying themes of decentralisation, minimum standards, the reduction of trade union formation, unemployment and the increasing individualisation of the employment contract are addressed by all authors. The covered countries are Australia, Belgium, Canada (Quebec), Greece, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Poland, South Africa and Switzerland. If a provision is not mandatory, does that necessarily mean that it can be deviated by collective agreement? Are there any labour law provisions that should be immune from collective regulation? In this context, certain provisions that impose an additional obligation on the worker and/or restrict his fundamental rights are particularly problematic.  Arbitration clauses here, too, are a perfect example: the right of access to a court can be waived, but can it be abolished collectively? Similar problems arise with respect to store closure clauses, which restrict the freedom of association of individual workers and non-competition clauses that restrict the fundamental freedom of choice of a profession.  Individual employment contracts are written to reduce the risk of misunderstanding by reminding the parties of their rights and obligations. The two types of collective agreements that predominate in the Netherlands are enterprise agreements and agreements on economic sectors. The two parties are different on the employer`s side and as the dominant factor that determines their application. Business agreements are made by related companies or business groups. Large Dutch companies, both national and multinational (Unilever, Philips, KLM, Ahold, KBB, etc.), tend to negotiate specific agreements for their Dutch companies and/or subsidiaries. The scope of these agreements is, to a large extent, defined by the employer parties (personal criteria). Companies may have separate agreements on senior and executive staff and sometimes apply a separate set of working conditions to international staff. Often, a collective agreement contains a clause that defines precisely the type of worker and the type of jobs covered. A collective agreement may extend to additional unions and employers, but only if the contract provides for it.
While it can be said that the application of collective agreements has increased sharply over the past decade, it is difficult to deny that their power to protect workers has declined considerably and continues to decline. Understanding the factors that have contributed to this fundamental change in economic and social conditions is essential if we are to maintain a balance in the relationship between employers and workers. Dutch law does not contain a specific labour code. Labour law issues are addressed in a wide range of legislation. The regulation of individual employment contracts, for example, is part of the civil code, while workplace safety and working time are governed by specific provisions. Legislation on collective agreements is also found in several statutes.