5.1.6 Labour laws
Collective bargaining agreements
There are many collective bargaining agreements [collective arbeidsovereenkomst - CAO] in the performing arts and more generally in the cultural sector. CAOs are labour-agreements between employers and employees. This means that a CAO only applies to employees who are working with an employer. When this is not the case, the national legal agreements are enforced. The existing CAOs are used mostly in architecture, arts education, media (broadcasting, journalism, publishing houses), museums and exhibition halls, performing arts (dance, orchestras, theatre companies, and venues), public libraries, retail musical instruments and sheet music. Special trade unions exist to enforce or monitor these agreements. CAO-wages have risen in 2006, on average, by 1.8%.
Almost all art and cultural institutions are organised in the Culture Federation [Federatie Cultuur], an umbrella employer's organisation which monitors the results of annual collective bargaining with respect to work and related conditions between the large Dutch unions, central government and the employers' organisations.
Over 4 million people are involved in volunteer work in the Netherlands; volunteering plays an important role in the cultural sector. There is no special legislation for volunteer efforts, but there is a National Expenses Arrangement [Landelijke Onkostenregeling] by the Ministry of Social Affairs which stipulates a maximum tax free reimbursement of expenses of 150 euros a month (2006) (see also chapter 5.1.5).
See also comparative information provided in the Compendium "Themes!" section under "Status of Artists".