Why has the short-time working scheme (in Dutch ‘Wtv) been discontinued as a measure?

The outbreak of the corona virus in recent weeks has led to an unprecedented demand for the short-time working scheme for employers. This scheme is not tailored to the far-reaching consequences of the coronavirus outbreak for Dutch companies and organisations. That is why the Wtv has been withdrawn.

The Cabinet wants to provide financial support to more employers and wants to do this more quickly than within the revoked Wtv scheme. The government is doing this through the new compensation scheme.

Can I still apply for a reduction in working hours?

No, that is no longer possible.

Until how long will my current reduced working hours remain in force? And if I have to extend it, how does that work if there is another scheme in the meantime?

If you have already been granted a work time reduction, this permit will remain in force. If you make use of the short-time working permit and want to extend it after it expires, you must make use of the new scheme.

I have applied for the reduction of working hours via the website that has been set up for this purpose, but have not yet received an answer. Do I have to wait and see, do I have to do something myself, how do I proceed?

You will be informed about this. Your application for the revoked Wtv scheme will be regarded as an application for the new contribution scheme. Additional information will be requested from you.

What does the new scheme for the reimbursement of wage costs entail?

The new, temporary NOW scheme for the reimbursement of wage costs is separate from the dispensation on short-time working and the Unemployment Act (in Dutch ‘WW’). Employers can submit an application for a substantial contribution towards the wage costs and receive an advance payment for this from the UWV. This allows them to continue paying employees with a permanent and flexible contract. In any case, the allowance can be applied for for 3 months, with the possibility of extension (possibly subject to other conditions) for another 3 months.

Which conditions apply to qualify for an allowance for labour costs?

With the application, the employer commits himself in advance to the obligation not to apply for dismissal on the grounds of business economics for his employees during the period for which the allowance is received.

The applicant expects at least 20% loss of turnover.

The application is valid for a period of 3 months, which may be extended once for another 3 months (further conditions may be attached to the extension).

The scheme relates to decreases in turnover as of 1 March 2020.

The amount of the allowance for labour costs depends on the drop in turnover, a maximum of 90% of the wage bill. Below are a few examples of how the relationship between the drop in turnover and the amount of the allowance works out:

  • If 100% of the turnover is lost, the allowance amounts to 90% of an employer’s wage bill;
  • If 50% of the turnover is lost, the compensation amounts to 45% of the wage and salary bill of an employer;
  • If 25% of the turnover is lost, the compensation amounts to 22.5% of the wage and salary bill of the employer.

On the basis of your application, the UWV will provide an advance payment equal to 80% of the expected contribution.

Afterwards, the actual decrease in turnover will be determined.

An auditor’s report is required for applications over and above an amount to be determined.

An adjustment will be made when the compensation is finally determined if there has been a reduction in the wage bill.

Employers pay the wages to the employees concerned 100% if they make use of the compensation scheme.

Are employers who closed their business as a precaution because of the coronavirus, for example hairdressers or orthodontists, also eligible for the ‘NOW’?

Yes, these employers are also eligible for the ‘NOW’, provided that they meet the conditions.

When can I apply for the Temporary Emergency Bridging for work retention?

You cannot yet submit this application. The government is working hard to change this as soon as possible. The exact date will be announced as soon as possible. The period over which you can receive compensation does not depend on this date. Turnover loss as of March 1 is eligible for compensation.

How do I apply for the new compensation scheme?

You submit the application to the ‘UWV’.

Can I also apply for an allowance for wage costs for employees with a flexible contract?

Yes, you can. The new allowance scheme also applies to the wage costs for employees for whom the employer has no obligation to continue to pay wages. Think of employees with a on-call contract. Temporary employment agencies can also apply for an allowance for wage costs for temporary employees who are employed by them. In this way, companies can bridge this difficult period without having to let such personnel go.

Does the ‘NOW’ also apply to temporary workers with a temporary employment clause?

Yes, the ‘NOW’ also applies to temporary workers, with or without a temporary employment clause, the temporary employer can obtain an allowance via the ‘NOW’. The application must therefore be submitted by the temporary employment agency. For temporary employers the same conditions apply as for regular employers. If the temporary worker has been ‘sent back’ by the principal and the temporary employment clause has been invoked, the temporary employment agency may offer the temporary worker a temporary contract for the duration of the compensation.

Can I apply for a temporary employment contract for circumstances other than corona?

No, the ‘wtv’ scheme has been withdrawn. You must also make use of the new scheme in the event of loss of turnover due to causes other than the outbreak of the corona virus COVID-19.

Questions and answers about the new compensation scheme for employees

Will my salary continue to be paid if I fall under the new allowance scheme?
Yes, your wages will continue to be paid in full.

Will I also use ‘WW’ (Unemployment Insurance Act) rights if I fall under the new allowance scheme?

No, you do not use ‘WW’ rights. The allowance scheme is separate from the ‘WW.

Do I have to provide data to be eligible for compensation?

No, this is done via your employer. You do not have to do anything.

Do I have to stop working during the allowance?

This is not a condition for the benefit scheme. You make agreements with your employer whether you work (at home) for your employer.