Group of international employees received too little salary for years
Radboud University made a mistake during the salary payment for a group of international employees. Employees who fall into the group with the so-called 30 percent facility, did not receive enough end-of-year-bonus and holiday allowance.
The 30 percent facility is included in the law, and makes it more attractive for foreign expats to settle in the Netherlands. Employees who use the facility receive 30 percent of their payment taxfree, for a maximum of five years. The extra money they receive this way, is meant to compensate for all kinds of costs foreigners have to pay, such as an expensive move and the residence permit procedure.
Computer science PhD student Alexis Linard is one of the Radboud University employees who uses the facility. When the Frenchman looked at his payslip this past December, he was quite disappointed, he says. ‘I had expected a higher amount. In the Radboud terms of employment, it says that I receive a minimum of 2250 euros gross end-of-year-bonus. I received less.’
He informed the Personnel and Organisation service, who told him that the 30 percent facility was the reason. ‘They had calculated my end-of-year-bonus over 70 percent of my salary, instead of over the full amount.’ Linard looked into the rules and never found a document that justified this practice of payroll administration. ‘I was quite angry by then.’
To his surprise, soon after he reported this, he received a message that starting the 1st of January 2018, all employees who fall into the 30 percent facility group will receive an end-of-year-bonus and holiday allowance based on their full salary. ‘Apparently, Personnel and Organisation knew they had made a mistake by then’, says Linard.
For the Frenchman, this was positive news: from 2018 on, he receives a higher end-of-year-bonus and more holiday allowance. Still, he is not satisfied. ‘The error has been fixed, but I have received too little money over the past few years. This is money that I have a right to receive.’
‘I am confident that I will receive the full amount of lost income.’
By now, Linard had contacted around ten other international employees, among whom PhD student Simone Lederer, who is a member of the Works Council. Together, they decided to send a formal letter, with the request to pay the lost income. Lederer also asked the Executive Board questions during the Works Council meeting.
It took a while for them to answer. Until finally, last Wednesday, when an English message appeared on Radboudnet: ‘It has been discovered that Radboud University has not correctly calculated the end-of-year bonus and the holiday allowance in the salary administration up and until 2017.’
The same message says that the Executive Board is investigating which corrections have to be made retroactively, to compensate a group of employees. The results of this investigation are expected in May.
Linard: ‘I am confident that I will receive the full amount of lost income.’ In the case of the PhD student, this means he will receive a gross 2.800 euros. ‘And I have only been working here since 2015. You can imagine what a professor who has worked here for five years will receive.’
The Executive Board does not yet want to comment on the question how many employees are in the 30 percent facility group. It also remains unknown how much money still has to be paid.
International employees have to meet several conditions to be able to use the 30 percent facility. The most important one: they have to bring a certain ‘expertise’, that is not easy to find on the Dutch labor market. On top of that, they cannot have lived within a 150 kilometer radius of the Dutch border, nor have lived in The Netherlands for a while before their contract is finalised. More information can be found here.