On March 17, 2020, the Dutch government announced exceptional economic measures, with the aim to protect jobs and incomes and to address the consequences of the COVID-19 outbreak on self-employed professionals, SME-entrepreneurs and large companies. The measures aim to ensure that companies can continue to pay their staff, bridge the gap for self-employed workers and assist companies in maintaining their cash position as much as possible through specific tax schemes, compensation and extra finance and credit proposals. We will focus on the employment measures.

Emergency fund bridging employment

The government introduced the ‘’Emergency fund bridging employment’’ (Noodfonds Overbrugging Werkgelegenheid). This is a new regulation which will replace the short-time working regulation. The details are still unclear, but the main elements are as follows:

Employers can submit an application for a substantial contribution towards labor costs and receive an advance from Insurance Administration Agency (UWV). The amount of the wage costs allowance depends on the drop in turnover, up to 90 per cent of the wage bill.

For example:

  • If 100 per cent of the turnover is lost, the compensation amounts to 90 per cent of the salary of an employer.
  • If 50 per cent of the turnover is lost, the compensation amounts to 45 per cent of the salary of an employer.
  • If 25 per cent of the turnover is lost, the compensation amounts to 22.5 per cent of the employer's salary.

The UWV will pay an advance payment equal to 80 per cent of the compensation requested. The actual decrease in turnover will be calculated afterwards and a final payment of compensation made.

The emergency fund applies to employers who have suffered a loss of business revenue since March 1, 2020 (the regulation has retroactive effect).

The requirements:

  • The employer must commit not to apply for dismissal of the employees for economic reasons during the period for which the compensation is paid.
  • The applicant must expect at least a 20 per cent loss of turnover
  • The application is valid for a period of three months, which can be extended once by an additional three months (further conditions may be imposed on the extension).
  • Applications for larger allowances (criteria to be announced) will require an audit.

We will update the blog if the government provides more details.

Support self-employed workers

The government has introduced a temporary arrangement to support self-employed workers. The arrangement will be implemented by municipalities. Self-employed workers can receive additional income support for a period of three months through an accelerated procedure. The additional income support supplements an individual’s income to the social minimum and does not have to be repaid. The arrangement does not require a means test of either the individual or their partner. The temporary support is also available in the form of a working capital loan at a reduced interest rate.

We understand that the COVID-19 outbreak and measures taken by the government could lead to unrest and various issues for your employees and company. Our team can advise you and help to prevent or reduce the uncertainty within your company. We are happy to continue our services for you as a client or relation by all means we have. 

Please read more about the legal implications of the COVID-19 outbreak across various industries and sectors on our website.

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