Born on 30 April 1946, in Vaals (The Netherlands), he took his Master’s Degree (cum laude) in law at Leyden University, 1973. Later he studied in Düsseldorf, Paris, Cambridge, Canterbury and Brussels.
He was deputy-secretary on social affairs at the Dutch Merchant Shipping Council (1968–1974) and lecturer in Labour Law and Social Security Law at Tilburg University (1976–1982). In 1986 he obtained his doctorate (cum laude) at the University of Brabant in Tilburg on the right of collective bargaining in European and comparative perspective.
He has written books and articles on Dutch labour and social security law in general, the right to work, the right to strike, discrimination and employment, the direct effect of international norms on Dutch labour and social security law, the influence of ILO norms on Dutch social security law, labour law and social policy of the European Communities, labour law in the German Federal Republic, labour law, employment law and social security law in the USA, Dutch collective labour law, the Dutch law on dismissals and flexible workers, actual developments in Dutch social security law, etc.
He has held the chair of Professor in Labour Law, Social Security Law and Social Policy at Tilburg University from 1987 until 2011. He continued teaching there as well as at the State University of Milano, where he is charged by giving each year an English-language course in European Labour Law .
He has been visiting professor in Montpellier (1993), Bari (1995), Nantes (1996), Leuven (1998), Pavia (2004), has given papers on comparative labour law at international conferences on Labour Law in Cologne, Frankfurt, Komintini (Greece), Fontevreau (France), Tokyo, Barcelona, Montreal, Paris, etc., cooperated with colleagues in other European countries on comparative work and has advised the European Commission and social partners in The Netherlands on matters of labour law and social security law.
He is a member of the Research Network on transnational trade union rights of the European Trade Union Institute.