Third party work beside your job? Fine, but...

Many employees at Leiden University carry out work for third parties that may or may not be related to their job. This is a positive move because a university belongs at the heart of society.  But there are limits.

Third party has mainly benefits

Leiden University welcomes the fact that its employees are active in society; they fulfil all kinds of societal roles.  They also do work for third parties that can have added value for science, society and the employee him- or herself. It is important that your supervisor knows about your work for third parties and, if necessary, gives permission for these activities, because work - paid or unpaid - can involve a conflict of interest for the University.


A colleague was a member of the local council. The University wanted to build new student accommodation at a particular location in the city. The relevant party was against these plans, and the colleague acted as spokesperson for the paty. This was a clear case of confllict of interest.

Our academics and scientists are often asked to act in an advisory function, for example in mediating international investment disputes. Two Leiden scientists are members of the Electoral council, a government body that monitors national elections.  Yet another colleague is researching incidences of violence in homes for the deaf and blind. All these activities can easily be combined with their jobs at Leide nUniversity. Difficulties can arise if a situation occurs where Leiden University is in some way the subject of mediation or advice.

Another colleague worked part-time for the University in the IT department and also had his own company.  A proposal had to be written. The colleague offered to write the proposal from his company.  No, that's not allowed. You cannot pass any work on to your own company based on your own job at the University. 

Not reconcilable

If you accept a subsidiary position, you need to make sure that this position will not harm the interests of the University or how you carry out your own job.  Not all third party work is allowed. If there is a likelihood that your job at the University is not reconcilable with your job, permission may be refused or it is possible that certain conditions will be imposed on the work for third parties.

What is work for third parties?

Work for third parties includes:  all acticities that an employee of Leiden University does that is not in the context of his or her position at the University, irrespective of whether the work is paid or unpaid, and whether the work takes place within or outside working hours. The amount of the work for third parties is also not relevant; that is, you may spend more time on third party work than on your job, or less. The size of your job at Leiden University is also not relevant. In the context of transparency, you are obliged to indicate your work for third parties on the University website.

What kind of work for third parties do you not need to report to your supervisor?

There are also types of work for third parties that you do not need to report to your supervisor. This is work that meets each of the four criteria mentioned below:

  • work that you do outside working hours and

  • for which you receive no payment in any form whatever  and

  • that does not hamper your performance in your job for the University and

  • that clearly cannot harm the interests of the University.

Employee is responsible

You yourself are responsible for reporting your work for third parties to your supervisor and publishing this on the University website. All staff therefore receive a mail once a year in which they are asked to check whether the work for third parties indicated is still applicable. You can report your work for third parties in Self Service, or indicate if you have stopped with this work.

How do you know what kind of work you need to report to your supervisor?

If your answer to one of the following questions is ' yes',  a warning bell should ring. In this case, you should discuss your work for third parties with your supervisor.

  • Are there similarities between the work for third parties and the work that you do for the University?

  • Do you use the same network of people, companies and or institutions that you use for your employment?

  • Have you gained subsidiary work on the basis of your position at the University?

  • Do you use information, knowledge or skills based on your job at the University?

  • Does the person or organisation that you carry out subsidiary work for have a questionable reputation? 

Third party work subject for P&D Interview

Third party work and its compatibility with your work at the University may be a subject for discussion in your P&D interview.  In this interview, agreements may be made and recorded on the conditions under which your third party work is permitted.

As an effect of article 1.14 (Work for third parties) of the Collective Labour Agreement of Dutch Universities, Leiden University has drawn up the Framework Regulation on Work for Third Parties. This only refers to activities and not to financial or other interests in organisations and/or income from other sources, such as shares.

Leiden University Code of Practice on Integrity

Last Modified: 15-03-2017