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Collective Labour Agreement (CLA)

A CLA may apply to the employment relationship without the employer and the employee being aware of this. When an employer is bound by a CLA, he is obliged to apply the employment conditions laid down in the CLA.
It is, therefore, of great importance to establish whether a CLA is applicable to the employment agreement.

A CLA can be applicable to the employment agreement in various ways. It may be stated explicitly in the employment agreement that a CLA applies, or an employer may be obliged to apply a CLA because he is a member of a particular employers’ association.
Also, it could be the case that a CLA is mandatory for the sector as a whole because a CLA has been declared generally binding.

The applicability of a CLA restricts the freedom of contract of the parties to a large extent. A CLA often contains employment conditions that must be applied in individual employment agreements. There are CLA’s in which derogations to the benefit of the employee are allowed.

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