The short-time working (Wtv) scheme has been scrapped! The Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment (SZW) has decided to withdraw the short-time working scheme and to stop granting exemptions. This was announced by the Government yesterday evening due to the decision to implement exceptional economic measures in an effort to protect jobs and incomes and to cushion the impact on businesses. The support package includes a temporary scheme to help cover wage costs (Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment, SZW): NOW
It became immediately clear this week that the drastic health decisions and advice are having a major impact on businesses of all sizes, in all sectors. Applications for the short-time working (Wtv) scheme flooded in, while the (application) procedure was complex and numerous (administrative) conditions and requirements had to be fulfilled, quite apart from the usage of the employee’s unemployment benefit entitlements and whether (sufficient) entitlements had been accrued. Partly as a result of this, the scheme was not quick enough and became wholly unsuitable for the current problem.
Temporary Emergency Bridging Measure for Sustained Employment
NOW is the Noodfonds Overbrugging Werkgelegenheid, or Temporary Emergency Bridging Measure for Sustained Employment in English. This new measure by the Government will be rolled out as soon as possible, as a replacement for the Wtv. NOW applications will be made through the Employee Insurance Agency (UWV), not the SZW. Prime Minister Mark Rutte had already announced this week that the Government was pulling out all the stops to help companies and employees. For this reason, NOW will be separate from exemptions and unemployment benefit. This temporary emergency bridging measure to keep people in a job provides security. For both permanent and flexible staff. Submitting an application for a substantial contribution to wage costs and receiving an advance on this from the UWV means that employees on permanent and flexible contracts can continue to be paid. Employees will not use up any unemployment benefit entitlements. As an employer, depending on your situation, you can make arrangements yourself as to whether employees will have to work (partly).
The following conditions will apply for NOW:
- As an employer, you will not apply to make employees redundant for economic reasons during the period for which the contribution is received.
- At least a 20% drop in turnover (from 1 March 2020) is expected.
More information will follow as soon as NOW applications can be submitted or more details are known. For questions we advise you to contact our team, firstname.lastname@example.org. We will keep you informed.