CAO stands for collectieve arbeidsovereenkomst (collective labour agreement). CAOs are a fundamental element of Dutch industrial relations and cover pay, working hours, conditions, bonuses, perks, training etc. The agreements are traditionally negotiated in the autumn by unions and employers. In theory at least they are binding to the whole sector. They are particularly disliked by foreign companies who say they are too rigid and make it hard to fire people.All typical untranslatable Dutch words and expressions translated in the Dictionairy of Dutchness
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