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New, sustainable Implementing Regulations: travelling by public transport from now on fully reimbursed

NWO, NWO-I and the Central Works Council have reached a final agreement on new Implementing Regulations (IR). Allowances for commuting and business trips will be adjusted to make the organisation more sustainable. From now on, travel by public transport will be fully reimbursed.

"NWO and NWO-I received several questions about the new Implementing Regulations and about how the regulations will be executed. The P&O Departments will collect all the questions and the answers will soon be published on the NWO-I website."

The motivation for revising the Implementation Regulations was the wish to make our organisation more sustainable. The use of fuel-powered cars will consequently be discouraged while car-pooling and traveling by public transport, bicycle and electric cars will be increasingly encouraged.

Commuting

One of the agreements is that employees who come to work by bicycle or by electric car will receive 19 cents a kilometre up to a maximum of 170 euros a month. The same will apply to drivers who carpool on at least half of their working days. Furthermore, the amount that can be spent on buying a bicycle by making use of the Tailor-made Terms of Employment (AVOM) scheme will be increased to 1,500 euros for employees who live more than 7.5 kilometres away from their work.

Commuting by public transport will be fully reimbursed as of 1 July 2020. On the other hand, the allowance for commuting by car will be reduced to 9 cents a kilometre from 1 July 2020, up to a maximum of 81 euros a month. This reduction to 9 cents will be introduced gradually for employees already employed on 1 March 2020. The allowance will remain at 19 cents in 2020, be reduced to 16 cents in 2021 and to 13 cents in 2022. As of 1 January 2023, the allowance will be 9 cents a kilometre.

If it is impractical for employees to reach their place of work by public transport, they will be entitled to a car allowance of 19 cents a kilometre up to a maximum of 170 euros a month. This could apply for instance if a single journey by public transport takes an hour and a half or more, whereas it would be at least 30 minutes quicker by private transport.

Business trips

Full reimbursement of travel by public transport for business trips will continue. If a business trip is undertaken by private transport without explicit permission from the employer, an allowance of 19 cents per kilometre will be paid in 2020, 16 cents per kilometre in 2021, 13 cents per kilometre in 2022 and 9 cents per kilometre from 2023. If the employer has given explicit permission for the employee to use private transport, the allowance will remain at 28 cents a kilometre. This could for instance apply if the traveling time for a single journey from door to door by private transport is at least 45 minutes quicker than the same journey by the fastest form of public transport.

Business trips abroad may be made by plane if the travelling time by public transport would take longer than eight hours; if the place of work cannot practically be reached by public transport; or if that saves spending a night in a hotel. NWO will also reimburse the cost of compensating for CO2 emissions when employees travel by plane.

Leave for self-study

In addition to changes to the reimbursement scheme for sustainable travel, study leave has also been modified. The right to take study leave for self-study has now been added to the Implementation Regulations. Up to now, employees could only take study leave when attending study programmes and training sessions and taking exams. Employees who are entitled to full study leave for professional development training (section 6 of the collective labour agreement) will now be entitled to up to half a day’s leave each week for self-study.

A partial agreement on the Implementing Regulations was reached in December. Employers and the Works Council agreed then that:

  • there will be a single complaints scheme for dealing with objections to and complaints about staffing decisions as of 1 January 2020;
  • the various staff interviews such as R&O, FUBO and annual appraisals at the NWO-I Office will be harmonised
  • the NWO-I policy on undesirable behaviour (sexual harassment, aggression, violence, bullying and discrimination) will be updated
  • the allowance for computer screen glasses will be increased.

The new Implementing Regulations can be found here