Chain arrangement

7 August 2019
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Chain arrangement

The chain arrangement means that a series of fixed-term employment contracts is converted into an employment contract for an indefinite period. This conversion occurs in the following situations:

  • A series of fixed-term employment contracts has exceeded two years;
  • There is a series of three fixed-term employment contracts.

If more than six months elapse between these agreements, the chain is broken and the chain regulation no longer applies. However, in the event of successive employership, the chain arrangement will continue to apply.

Successive employership

The chain arrangement applies to successive employment contracts between an employee and different employers who – irrespective of whether there is insight into the capacity and suitability of the employee – must be deemed to be each other’s successors with regard to the work performed. This could include a temporary worker who enters the employment of the same employer. In that case, the duration of the agency work employment contract is included in the chain.

Exceptions to the chain rule

The chain arrangement does not apply if one fixed-term employment contract of more than 24 months is extended by an employment contract of no more than 3 months. By collective bargaining agreement, this period of 24 months can be extended to a maximum of 48 months and the number of 3 months can be increased to 6 months.

In the temporary employment sector, the chain scheme applies as soon as the temporary agency worker has performed work for a period of 26 weeks, which can be extended by collective labor agreement to a maximum of 78 weeks.

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