Dutch Government replaces working time reduction scheme with new scheme
Published on 18th Mar 2020
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The Dutch government has announced new measures to help employers to overcome the coronavirus crisis. The current short-time working scheme closed on 17 March 2020 due to severe issues with handling over 70,000 applications. Applications that have already been made but not yet settled will be handled in the new scheme. The government is introducing a new scheme that boils down to the following (further details of which will follow).
An entrepreneur who expects a loss of turnover of at least 20% can apply to the UWV (a governmental agency) for a salary contribution for a period of three months, up to a maximum of 90% of the wage bill, depending on the loss of turnover. The UWV will provide an advance of 80% of the requested contribution. This allows companies to continue to pay their staff. The condition is that no staff may be made redundant for economic reasons during the subsidy period.
This Temporary Emergency Measure Bridging for Work Retention will be opened as soon as possible and will replace the current working time reduction / short-time working scheme.
Entrepreneurs can apply for the allowance for a decrease in turnover from 1 March 2020 (i.e. retrospectively).
The government's health measures have enormous consequences for income in a number of sectors, with the (mandatory) closure of food and beverage outlets and travel restrictions hitting the hospitality and travel sectors particularly hard. Moreover, this income will be difficult to make up when the coronavirus crises has passed. The government is therefore introducing a compensation scheme with appropriate measures for companies in the worst-affected sectors. This is now being worked out and urgently submitted to the European Commission for the assessment of (permissible) state aid.