Universiteit Maastricht - Fotoshoots Bachelor & Masterbrochure  Foto: Harry Heuts

Forms of employment

The university has various forms of employment. Below, you can read about how they affect you as an employee and about aspects such as maximum contract terms, function-based contracts and how long a temporary contract term is.

Employment contracts and appointments

Public universities offer appointments, whereas special universities offer employment contracts. This should be stated on the letter you received upon entering into service. An appointment is a unilateral decision made by the university to take a person into service. Public universities are government bodies and are governed by the Central and Local Government Personnel Act (Ambtenarenwet). An employment contract is a contract between an employer and an employee governing the employment relationship and is regulated under the Dutch Civil Code. The CAO applies to employees with either a contract or an appointment. Some chapters contain provisions specific to either public or private universities.

Function-based contract

Function-based contracts are based on performance rather than time, allowing employees to organise their time and work more easily. You are responsible for managing your own working hours, break times and holidays. The most important rule is that your performance must satisfy the agreements made with your supervisor. For the duration of the current CAO, the university may conclude function-based contracts with academic staff and with support and management staff below salary scale 11. More details can be found in Article 4.4a of the CAO.

No obligation

You are not obliged to conclude a function-based contract with the university – both parties have to agree in order to do so. If you conclude a function-based contract when starting employment, you may cancel it within three months without stating a reason.

Contract term and extension of temporary employment contracts

The maximum term for temporary employment contracts depends on the position, as does the number of times they may be extended. Depending on your job category, the following applies:

  • Academic staff: the total duration (including any successive contracts) may not exceed two years. For certain positions and duties a total maximum duration of four years applies. These exceptions are found in Article 2.3.1 of the CAO. The university may not extend a temporary employment contract with a new temporary contract more than twice.
  • Support and management staff: the total duration (including any successive contracts) may not exceed two years. For certain positions and duties a total maximum duration of three to four years applies. These exceptions are found in Article 2.3.2 of the CAO. The university may not extend a temporary employment contract with a new temporary contract more than twice.
  • Doctoral students: contracts are always temporary, for the anticipated length of the degree programme. When commencing employment, the university may conclude an 18-month temporary contract once only in order to evaluate your suitability for the position. For doctoral students, no maximum applies to either the number of successive temporary contracts or the duration of any contract.
  • Student assistants always receive a temporary employment contract. No maximum applies to either the number of successive temporary contracts or the duration of any contract for student assistants.
  • Employees who have reached their retirement age and are entitled to an old-age pension: the university may extend a temporary employment contract no more than six times within a period of no longer than four years.