COVID-19: Coronavirus - Emergency Fund NOW

Information for Employers and HR Professionals on the Emergency Fund NOW

COVID-19 is now a top priority for any business in The Netherlands. Please make sure to stay up to date with daily updates published here: COVID-19 Coronavirus Netherlands – Employers Guide.

Under special circumstances, companies can claim a reduction in working hours for employees. A “special circumstance” includes events such as a fire, flood or epidemic, when this leads to (significant) loss of work. These are circumstances that do not fall under the normal entrepreneurial risk. COVID-19, (Coronavirus), now qualifies as a epidemic. In many cases it could lead for companies in stagnation or shortage of work. In that case, applying for a working time reduction of employees could be a solution.

 

Update October 12, 2020

NOW – Employment Bridging Emergency Fund [Noodfonds Overbrugging Werkgelegenheid].

Companies experiencing financial problems due to the Coronavirus could prior to March 17,  apply for a working time reduction. As per March 17, 2020, the current regulation for working time reduction, the unemployment benefit during short-time working [werktijdverkorting (WTV] has been cancelled. The scheme has been replaced with a temporary plan Employment Bridging Emergency Fund – NOW [Noodfonds Overbrugging Werkgelegenheid].

Due to an extraordinary event such as the Coronavirus, the Employer who has less or no work for employees can receive a substantial contribution towards labor costs. It is important to carefully substantiate in the application the direct relationship between the Coronavirus and available work, as the Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment has a strict measurements.

From March until September 2020, NOW1 en NOW2 were applicable. It is not possible to apply for NOW1 and NOW2 anymore. Per October 1, 2020, NOW3 is set in place, the application process via UWV will be open per mid November 2020.

Please note it is also allowed to request a compensation less work or no work for on-call workers with a zero-hour contract – retrospective as of March 1, 2020.

Requirements NOW3

The requirements for receiving the compensation can be found here on the UWV website.

The NOW3 will consists of 3 periods of 3 months, until 1 July 2021. The NOW3 support over 9 months will gradually reduce the compensation percentages from 80% to 70% to 60%.

The compensation allows companies to continue to pay their staff. The actual turnover loss will be determined afterwards. When determining the definitive compensation, a correction can be made, if there has been a decrease in wages.

 

How to apply?

The information on how to apply and the form is in Dutch language.

  1. payroll tax number;
  2. to expect at least a 20% loss of turnover.  Per January 1, 2021 the loss of turnover has to be 30%;
  3. the expected percentage of loss of turnover in that period;
  4. the bank account number known at the Tax Authority in regard to payroll taxes.
  • Start with filling in the form, this will take approximately 15 minutes.

Make sure you have available:

  • a printer;
  • a scanner (or a telephone with a scan function);
  • a scan of the statement of the above bank account number (or a screenshot of your online account statement)

The application need to be submitted to the UWV

Our company Human In Progress can support you with submitting the application, please contact us directly.

 

Duration of the allowance

The allowance can in any case be applied for for 3 months, with the possibility of an extension by 3 months (extra conditions may apply to an extension application). 

Note: In case employee is ill, it is not possible to claim for those employees an unemployment benefit. The Employer is obliged to pay the wages in the event of illness according to the Sick Leave Protocol of the company or in case that is not in place, refer to the mandatory law on Sick pay.

Stay up to date – Manage the impact on the workforce

Ensure that the team leading the taskforce/communication is up to date with the Coronavirus situation. It’s hard for employers and employees to know what to do or what they are expected to do as the situation changes daily. There are also many other questions to be considered, such as what are an employer’s compliance obligations, and how leave, benefit and sick policies apply. Read COVID-19 Coronavirus Netherlands – Employers Guide.  Comply with current legal obligations and government guidance in The Netherlands.

 

For more questions, speak to our HR Specialists.

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