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News from the works councils (June/July 2023)

The agendas of both the Central Works Council of NWO (COR NWO) and the Group Works Council of NWO-I (GOR NWO-I) have been well-filled in recent months.
The COR NWO discussed the introduction of diversity days (in the collective labour agreement) and the possible introduction of an ombudsman.
The GOR NWO-I advised on the roll-out of Youforce, the central personnel system. GOR NWO-I also approved the health, safety and environment (HSE) year plan and the 'Pregnancy and the wish to have children' policy.

New members COR NWO and GOR NWO-I

For some of the COR and GOR members, their period of office in the local works council of the institute ends next month. Therefore, these members can no longer participate in the COR NWO and the GOR NWO-I. The local councils will decide which new members they will send to represent them in the COR NWO and the GOR NWO-I. As soon as the new members are appointed, the COR NWO and the GOR NWO-I will hold internal elections to determine who forms the executive management. They will also decide which members will participate in the (permanent) committees.


The COR NWO talked with the Executive Board representative about the development of the Dutch Climate Research Initiative (KIN). The KIN will connect the various parties (institutes, universities, NGOs and other civil society partners) and specifically support climate research. The Executive Board made a start budget available to establish the KIN. Now a quartermaster and a steering group of people from within and outside of NWO are working on a founding document. The Executive Board representative will keep the COR NWO informed about the progress.

New chair SSH/member NWO Executive Board

The COR NWO issued a positive recommendation about the intended chair of the NWO Domain Social Sciences and Humanities (SSH). The chair of SSH, just like the chairs of the other domains, will be a member of the NWO Executive Board and also the Foundation Board of NWO-I, which has the same composition as the Executive Board.
Prior to this advice, Tamara van Mölken and Peter Kluit spoke with the candidate, Antal van den Bosch, on behalf of the COR NWO. Antal has now been appointed by the Minister of Education, Culture and Science, and he will start with effect from 1 July 2023. The COR NWO wishes Antal good luck and best wishes in his new job.


A possible new governance structure for NWO-I (for which the advice procedure was suspended last year) is a subject that is on the agenda of each consultative meeting. Unfortunately, few developments have taken place in this area. We hope to be able to provide clarity soon.

Diversity days in the collective labour agreement

The collective labour agreement negotiations have now started. Although the works councils do not provide input for these - the negotiations take place between the trade unions and employers - we have informed the employer that we wholeheartedly support the initiative of the NWO-D works council to include diversity days in the collective agreement. These diversity days are leave days that an employee can take in exchange for the statutory (official) festive or memorial days. The employee can use the diversity days for his or her own festive or memorial days, for example exchanging Tweede Pinksterdag (Whitsun Bank Holiday) or Tweede Paasdag (Easter Bank Holiday) for Keti Koti, a Pride day, Eid al-Fitr or the death anniversary of a loved one. The Executive Board representative was also positive about this proposal from the perspective of a shared commitment to realising a more inclusive collective labour agreement.


Within COR NWO, a workgroup is investigating the introduction of an ombudsman. During the last Implementing Regulations negotiations, it was agreed with the Executive Board representative that this would be an interim subject of negotiation (with 1 July 2024 as the target date). The workgroup has held meetings with several ombudsmen and will soon report its findings to the COR NWO.


Health, safety and the environment (HSE)

The GOR NWO-I considered a request for approval for the HSE plan 2023 and a change to the policy 'Pregnancy and the wish to have children' for employees with a wish to have children. This was preceded by a meeting with the health and safety committee of the GOR NWO-I with Sjoerd Wouda, HSE advisor at the NWO-I office. The GOR NWO-I personnel has now approved both the annual HSE plan and the change to the policy 'Pregnancy and the wish to have children', and we wish Sjoerd and all HSE advisors success with realising the annual plan.


The GOR NWO-I issued an advice about the development and implementation of Youforce, the joint personnel system. For example, the GOR NWO-I advised to take enough time to properly complete the test phase with an evaluation to ensure that all institutes will be able to experience Youforce as a step forward.

Arising from the request for advice, the GOR NWO-I was also asked to issue approval for:

  • absence registration;
  • how personal information of employees is stored and protected;
  • the digitalisation of personnel files and their inclusion in Youforce;
  • the phasing out of NWO-I People;
  • linking Youforce and Unit4 for synchronising the holiday registration time registration at the level of individual employees.

Upon receiving additional information concerning privacy, the GOR NWO-I has now issued its approval for all of these subjects. However, the implementation of Youforce can only take place after the Employee Self-Service has been fully rolled out and tested. We now expect a reaction from the Executive Board representative. After that, all of the changes can be implemented.

Development Operations

The GOR NWO-I regularly holds meetings about the Development Operations with the Executive Board representative. It has taken the initiative to look at the further trajectory, and role of the GOR NWO-I in this, together with the Executive Board representative and a representation from the Foundation Board during a so-called article 24 meeting.

Confidental Infomation