آخر تحديث - 21 ديسمبر 2020
6 The binding nature of collective agreements and their impact on the individual employment contract . J. van der Hulst, Het sociaal plan, Deventer: Kluwer 1999 with important literature. The Supreme Court has repeatedly stated that social plans can be concluded through collective agreements. They may be based on collective agreements, be part of collective agreements or, in themselves, be collective agreements. See p.B. HR 20 March 1998, JAR 1998/127, NJ 1998/815. In 26 months 2000, the Supreme Court ruled that the rules for interpreting the court`s collective agreements also applied to social plans. This means that the provisions of social plans and collective agreements must be interpreted on the basis of their objective meaning and not on the basis of the meaning that the parties could reasonably have contributed to them (the latter is the contract rule in general).
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. In the Netherlands, collective agreements are a means of organising work and a means of protecting workers from the unequal bargaining powers of employers. Especially in the post-war period, the government kept the level of wages under strict control. Each collective agreement was prescriptive in the sense that more advantageous and less advantageous provisions were contrary to the law. This situation has changed considerably: collective agreements are now mostly minimum rules.  But it is based on practice, not law. If the social partners do not want employers to pay higher wages or bonuses than those provided for by the collective agreement, they can simply make the collective agreement mandatory in the absolute sense of the word. It was not uncommon for Dutch collective agreements to contain provisions such as exceptions to this agreement, unless this provision was expressly provided for in the provision  or even that exemptions from that agreement were not allowed, even if they were more favourable to the worker.  Today, collective agreements often contain provisions that allow only more favourable provisions, both in general and on a case-by-case basis. But it still implies that the parties could have defined something else.  Case law in this area is rare and inconclusive.
 ILO conventions generally have no direct effect. But the standards it contains have influenced Dutch labour law. Decades after the Second World War, working conditions were part of general economic policy and were therefore one of the central government`s main concerns.