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New (and improved?): The NOW 2.0

In order to mitigate the economic effects of the Corona pandemic, a further stimulus package has been made available. One of the aspects thereof is that the Emergency Measure Bridging to Retain Employment (NOW) has continued in an amended form: NOW 2.0. In this blog you can read the outlines of this scheme.

WHEN YOU CAN APPLY

From July 6 to August 31, 2020 it is possible to submit an application for the NOW 2.0 (Emergency measure Bridging for the preservation of Employment) to the UWV.

HOW THE SUBSIDY IS CALCULATED

The amount of the subsidy grant is the result of the following formula: 

A x B x 4 x 1.4 x 0.9 

A = decrease in turnover

A is the percentage (at least 20%) of the turnover decrease expected by the employer in 4 consecutive calendar months, whereby the employer can choose to start on June 1, July 1 or August 1, 2020. When the NOW 1.0 was applied, then the start date of NOW 2.0 has to match the end date of the NOW 1.0 period.   

The expected decrease in turnover in the period you have chosen must be compared with one third of your turnover in 2019 .

You can calculate the amount of your turnover loss with this calculation tool.

B = wage bill

You apply for the subsidy based on the wages bill in March 2020, which is the B in this formula. The wages per employee are capped at € 9,538 gross per month. 

4 = duration of the subsidy

Since the subsidy will be granted for a period of four months, multiply by a factor of 4 . These are the months of June, July, August and September 2020 for which NOW 2.0 provides.

1,4 = mark up of wage costs

The wage bill is marked up with 40%, to cover related additional costs such as pension premiums and holiday day.

0.9 = turnover decrease compensation

The formula ends with the 90% of the decrease in turnover that is compensated.

ADVANCE

An advance of 80% of the requested subsidy will be paid, in two installments. 

DEFINITE SUBSIDY DETERMINATION

The application for the definitive subsidy determination must be submitted within 24 weeks after November 15, 2020 (or after the end of the turnover period covered by the application, whichever is later). When an auditor’s report is required, this period is extended to 38 weeks.

An auditor’s report is required when the advance was higher than € 100,000 and in case the final grant amount is € 125,000 or more. If the advance amounted to more than € 20,000, a statement from an “expert third party” (eg an administrative office) is sufficient.

The subsidy is determined within 52 weeks of the application.

Final wage bill

When the subsidy is definitively determined by the UWV, the final wage bill for 1 June to 30 September 2020 will be taken into account.

Lower wage bill

When the final determination of the subsidy shows that the actual wages for the months of June – September 2020 were lower than 4 x the wages for the month of March 2020, the subsidy is also lower. Part of the subsidy will then have to be paid back.

Higher wage bill

Note: if the actual wage bill in June / September 2020 was higher than four times the wage bill in March 2020 , for example because new employees entered into service, you do not get a higher subsidy.

It may therefore be wise to keep the wage bill at the same level as much as possible.

Final turnover

When the subsidy is definitively determined by the UWV, the final turnover for the chosen period between 1 June and 30 November 2020 will be taken into account.

The amount of the final subsidy is adjusted up or down if the percentage of loss of turnover turns out to be different than expected in advance.

DISMISSAL

One of the goals of NOW 2.0 is to prevent job losses as much as possible, although it is now recognized that reorganizations and redundancies are inevitable. The NOW 2.0 does not make applying for a dismissal at the UWV for business reasons impossible, but less attractive, due to the following rules:

  • If the employer submits a dismissal application for economic reasons to the UWV between 1 June and 30 September 2020, the amount of the subsidy will be corrected. In short: the full salary of the employees for who dismissal applications were filed, no longer counts. It does not matter whether the UWV rejects or grants the application for dismissal.

NB: this does not apply if the employment contract is terminated for another reason (for example due to insufficient functioning) or in another way (such as with a settlement agreement).

  • Employers that wish to dismiss 20 or more employees must consult with the trade unions or other employee representative and try to reach an agreement. If there is no agreement, an application for mediation must have been submitted to the Dispute Settlement Committee of the Labor Foundation. If there is no agreement or a mediation request, a discount of 5% will be applied to the total subsidy amount.

OTHER OBLIGATIONS FOR THE EMPLOYER

There are  a number of obligations for the employer under NOW 2.0, such as:

  • The employer must keep the wage bill the same as much as possible.
  • The subsidy may only be used to pay labour costs.
  • The works council, staff representatives, or in their absence, the employees need to be informed about the application.
  • The employer has an obligation to encourage employees to request development advice and/or to receive training. The program NL leert door has been set up to help employers and employees to comply with these obligations.
  • The employer may not distribute profit and bonuses to shareholders, the board and management during the year 2020 up to and including the shareholders’ meeting in 2021. This only applies if the advance on the allowance is 100,000 euros or more, or if the definitive allowance is 125,000 euros or more.

WHICH DATA YOU NEED

The application has the following at least data needed:

  • Company details: name, address, telephone number, e-mail, name of the position and department of the contact person.
  • The payroll tax number.
  • The commencement date of the period for which you are applying for a subsidy.
  • The amount of the expected loss of turnover. This can be calculated with the calculation tool.
  • The bank account number that the Tax and Customs Administration uses for the payroll tax payments.
  • The ascription of this account number.
  • A copy of a bank statement.
  • A signed letter of intent on the application, stating the following:
    • You have entered the correct information and have been complete.
    • You understand and accept that the provisions of the General Administrative Law Act apply to the application.
    • No moratorium or bankruptcy has been applied for.
    • You agree to the storage and processing of the data according to the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
    • You are authorized to represent the company (this may also include someone authorized by the employer, for example, an employee of an administration office).

Important: UWV will make public the name and location of the employer and the amount of both the given advance as the final grant. You must give permission for this in the application.

You can view an animation explaining the NOW 2.0 here (switch on English subtitles).

Do you have any questions about this blog? Please contact Natascha Niewold.

22 July 2020

ATTENTION

We strive for completeness in our reporting but cannot guarantee this because developments follow each other at a rapid pace. The Dutch government regularly comes up with additions to or improvements of (new) regulations. As a result, our reports may be outdated at the time you read them. That is why we mention the date and time of posting with each message.

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