MAASTRICHT. There will most likely be clarity about the second one-off working-from-home compensation this month, said vice president of the Executive Board Nick Bos when asked. This will not be a regulation that makes it possible to claim the cost of a babysitter at home, as the University of Amsterdam created.
In November, a maximum of 254 euro after tax (in case of a full-time contract) was transferred to everyone’s bank account, as compensation for costs incurred from working at home up until 31 December 2020. Now that we are into a new period of working from home, the question arises if and what the university should compensate. Public transport season tickets for employees were already cancelled back in spring and since 1 November, there has been no fixed remuneration for traveling expenses.
Nick Bos, vice president of the Maastricht Executive Board, refers to the discussion about compensation for working from home as “work in progress”. He hopes to be able to provide clarity later in February.
Financial compensation for working from home and maintaining compensation for travel expenses (commuter traffic) are subjects that the trade unions (FNV, CNV, Aob and FBZ) want to include in the negotiations of the new collective bargaining agreement for Dutch universities. The COVID-19 pandemic is the focal point, linked with the combination of work and private life. The unions plead for proper facilities to aid working from home in the form of a desk, chair, computer and screen. In addition, they want a non-accessibility regulation in the evenings, weekends and while on leave.
As far as leave is concerned, the University of Amsterdam points out to its employees (especially parents and carers) again that there is a possibility to take special leave in order to relieve work pressure. They have also introduced compensation to allow for a babysitter at home: a maximum of 10 euro per hour for two days a week. The babysitter must be registered with the Chamber of Commerce (and the regulation will apply as long as the lockdown lasts, so for now that is until 8 February). Within Maastricht University, this has come up in the framework of a “broader brainstorm”, says Nick Bos, but such a regulation is not being drawn up.