Temporary emergency bridging measure now

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June 4th, 2020

TEMPORARY EMERGENCY BRIDGING MEASURE NOW – UPDATE NOW 1.0 AND 2.0

As of April 6th 2020 the NOW: Temporary Emergency Bridging Measure for Sustained Employment is available to employers in the Netherlands. Under certain conditions, employers can claim NOW for a substantial compensation for their employees’ wages.

NOW 1.0  – deadline 5 June 2020

Pro-rated downturn turnover

The main criteria for the scheme is that employers can prove that they expect a net turnover loss of at least 20% for 3 months consecutively. Starting either from 1 March, 1 April or 1 May.

Only the decrease in turnover in the Netherlands will be taken into account. In case of multiple entities in the Netherlands, the calculation is based on the group as a whole.

An exception is now made for international groups; It is now possible for groups that suffer less than 20% decrease in total turnover to apply for the NOW based on the decrease in turnover of the Dutch subsidiaries. Extra conditions tied to this exception are  1. No dividends for board members and directors; 2. Additional accountant statements.

The expected turnover loss is calculated as follows: divide the total turnover from 2019 by 4, and compare this with the expected turnover in the chosen reference period.

The fund is paid out pro-rated, meaning that 100% of decrease in turnover means the full 90% of funding, a 50% decrease is 45% of funding etc.

Employer expenses

Employer expenses such as premiums, pension contributions and holiday allowance will be compensated as well.

Termination of employment contracts

If the NOW is granted, employers are not allowed to request permission for ending the labour agreement for economic reasons between 18/3/2020 and 31/5/2020. By not following this rule you risk a fine of 150% on the total amount of the funding. Please note that this is only the case for NOW 1.0. More information on the second round will follow below.

Wages

Please carefully note that, the amount of the funding is based on the total salary of the employee in January 2020 (or November 2019). The maximum salary base on which the subsidy is calculated is €9,538 per month per employee.

If an employee was working fulltime in January and his/her hours have now been reduced, the difference will have to be paid back. This also applies to bonuses from December 2019, that have been paid out in January 2020.

Informal and formal application

The application consists of two parts. The informal application and the formal application. The informal application is based on estimates and the formal application is based on exact numbers. The latter is put in place as a means for the government to check whether the informal applications were filed truthfully. For the formal application an accountant statement will be required.

The informal application is done electronically and needs to be filed before the 5th of June 2020. The formal application needs to be filed within 24 weeks after the 3 months period in which the turnover loss of at least 20% occurred.

Foreign bank account

The application can only be filled out electronically if the employer has a Dutch bank account. If not, a hard-copy application form needs to be requested telephonically.

Advance payment NOW

If granted the UWV will pay out an advance of 80% divided over 3 months. The employer is obligated to inform his employees of the received NOW.

Calculation of the NOW 1.0 subsidy

NOW = (downturn in turnover)% x total employee wages per month x 3 x 1.3 x 0.9

 

NOW 1.0 – updated

–  New calculation for employers who had very low to zero salary costs in January 2020. This new calculation is applicable to employers whose total salary costs were 3 times as high between March and May 2020 compared to January 2020;

– New turnover loss calculation for start-ups;

–  Accountant statement. The accountant statement is only required for employers who have received an advance of € 100,000 or more OR a definitive subsidy of € 125,000 or more. This threshold only applies to the NOW 1.0;

– Formal applications that require an accountant statement can be filed within 38 weeks (instead of 24 weeks) after the 3 months period in which the turnover loss of at least 20% occurred;

– Requests for the definitive subsidy can be requested from October 7th 2020;

– Third party statement. Employers who have received an advance of € 20,000 or more or a definitive subsidy of € 25,000 will need a third party statement. Who these third parties are will be announced shortly.

– Publication. The applicants for the NOW will be published on the UWV website. This includes the names of the companies, the amount of the advance and the definitive subsidy;

– The employer is obligated to inform his staff about the received NOW.

 

NOW 2.0 – deadline 31 August 2020

On 22 May 2020 and 29 May 2020 the Dutch government announced that the NOW scheme will be extended with another 4 months, and has updated the conditions for the NOW 2.0.

The NOW 2.0 is in general the same as the NOW 1.0 with a few changed conditions.

– The application form for the NOW 2.0 will be available from the 6th of July 2020;

– The main criteria for the scheme is still that employers should be able to prove that they expect a net turnover loss of at least 20% for 4 months in a row. Starting either from 1 June, 1 July, 1 August or 1 September;

– Employers applying for the second time are not allowed to choose a reference period. For these employers the reference period for the NOW 2.0 should follow the reference period chosen for the NOW 1.0;

– The amount of the funding is based on the total salary of the employee in March 2020;

– The 150% fine for firing an employee for business economic reasons is lowered to a 5% fine for employers firing more than 20 employees without consent of the works council or staff representatives. Please note that 100% of the received subsidy will still need to be paid back;

– Coverage for employer expenses has been increased from 30% to 40%;

– [NEW] Employers are not allowed to distribute dividends or bonuses when making use of the NOW until the shareholders meeting where the financial statement of 2021 will be confirmed. This pertains to the board and the directors;

– Employers are obliged to stimulate employees to follow training or retraining. This in order to prepare employees for the job market in case they lose their employment due to Covid-19. More details will soon be published on this.

 

Calculation of the NOW 2.0 subsidy

NOW = (downturn in turnover)% x total wages per month x 4 x 1.4 x 0.9

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