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A university reorganisation may result in forced redundancies. Below, you can read about how this might affect you, so you know what to expect.

Social policy and redundancy plans

If a reorganisation has drastic consequences for employees, a social policy framework will apply. This framework will include a redundancy plan that the university and the trade unions have agreed upon, and which includes regulations specific to the reorganisation. Chapter 9 of the CAO sets out the applicable rules in the event of a reorganisation.

Dismissal and redundancy criteria during reorganisation

A reorganisation can mean that some jobs cease to exist. This does not apply to employees from the Participation Act (Participatiewet) target group: they cannot be made redundant because the position has been terminated, but will retain a range of duties similar in nature and number of working hours. If a job disappears, the person occupying the post, in principle, faces dismissal. If the disappearing job is not unique (i.e. there are multiple people who perform the same or similar jobs), redundancy criteria will determine who qualifies for dismissal. The jobs in question must be ‘interchangeable positions’.

Interchangeable positions

Positions are interchangeable if they are the same or comparable. Interchangeable positions are comparable in terms of duties, required knowledge, skills and competencies, and equivalent in terms of job scale and remuneration.

The following redundancy criteria apply to mutually interchangeable positions:

  • Employees who have reached the retirement age are entitled to an old-age pension will be dismissed first.
  • Employees with the shortest work history at the institution are second in line to be dismissed.
  • If ten or more employees are to be dismissed, the employer may apply redundancy criteria according to age groups: 15-25, 25-35, 35-45, 45-55 and 55 and over.

If you can convince your employer that the loss of your knowledge or skills would adversely affect the performance of the organisation/unit, your employer may make an exception to the above rules. Article 9.9 of the CAO contains more information on this topic.

If you work at a special university, the redundancy criteria for interchangeable positions as set out in the Redundancy Scheme will apply (Government Gazette 2015 no. 12685).


You are made redundant if your job ceases to exist due to a reorganisation, or if you qualify for dismissal under the redundancy criteria. If you are made redundant, you face losing your job.

Dismissal protection period and notice period

Universities are not allowed to dismiss you immediately if you are made redundant: a dismissal protection period applies, starting the moment you are informed of your impending dismissal. You may only be dismissed at the end of this ten-month dismissal protection period, with a notice period of three months (Article 9.11 of the CAO).

Redeployment investigation

During the dismissal protection period, your employer will investigate whether there is another position suitable for you, either within or outside the university. As part of this redeployment investigation, you and your employer will agree on the efforts both of you will make to increase the likelihood of finding suitable work (Article 9.12 of the CAO).

Suitable work

If you face dismissal due to a reorganisation, you will be given priority for redeployment in another suitable position. More information on this topic can be found in articles 9.12a and 9.13 of the CAO. Suitable work is work that you can do because:

  • you possess the required knowledge and skills;
  • within 12 months of training you could acquire the required knowledge and skills;
  • the job suits your character, circumstances and prospects.

Mobility allowance

You yourself may decide to resign during the dismissal protection period, in which case you are entitled to a mobility allowance. This allowance varies according to your gross salary, years of service and the moment you resign. For example: if you have accrued five years of service and you resign during the fourth month of the dismissal protection period, your mobility allowance will be equal to six times your gross monthly salary. Other conditions can be found in Article 9.8a of the CAO.