Organisation - September 9, 2016

Longer contracts thanks to flexibility act

Albert Sikkema

The university is considering offering new academic staff a one-off temporary contact of seven years instead of six. This is in response to the new Flexibility and Security Act.

This only applies to contracts for new staff who have done their PhD at another university and are embarking on Wageningen’s tenure track. Until last year these talented young researchers would first get a contract for three years, which could be renewed for another three years. But since the new act came into effect in July last year, the university can no longer offer this group a second three-year temporary contract. To do so would be in contravention of the law.

So last year the university changed the temporary contracts from three years to a one-off temporary contract for six years. If on assessment after three and six years, these staff fulfil the criteria for tenure track, they can be offered a permanent appointment.


A working group at the university has now advised extending the one-off temporary contract to seven years. Doing so would create some space so that staff who fall ill, get pregnant or become fathers, can be assessed at a later date. It is thought that around ten new staff members would benefit from this arrangement every year. The extension would not apply to staff who are already under contract at this university as doctoral or postdoc researchers and go straight on to tenure track. That group will be offered a temporary contract of maximum four years, including the previous period of service.