Paul van der Heijden is currently professor of International Labour Law at Leiden University.
He studied law in Amsterdam (LLM) and Leiden (PhD), was a judge at the Amsterdam District Court, was professor of Labour Law in Groningen, Amsterdam, Bielefeld (Germany), Ghent (Belgium) and Leiden. He served as Dean of the Law School and Rector Magnificus at the University of Amsterdam. He was Rector and President of the Executive Board of Leiden University.
His research is aimed at public and private enforcement mechanisms of Fundamental Rights at Work.
Paul van der Heijden was active in the International Labour Organisation (ILO) for 22 years, and from 2002 - 2017 served as the independent president of the Committee on Freedom of Association (CFA).