Latest tweaks to NOW scheme
The Minister for Social Affairs and Employment has ordered the NOW (Employment Bridging Emergency Fund) to be tweaked in certain places. The changes relate to the arrangements aimed at groups of companies having suffered a corona-induced drop in sales of less than 20 percent, to the applicant’s consent to particular details being publicised, to the applicant having to notify the authorities of a domestic rather than a foreign bank account number, and to the abolition of mandatory wage cost allowance notification.
Groups of companies whose sales have dropped by less than 20 percent have been given the additional option – contingent upon their compliance with supplementary requirements – of having their individual operating companies apply for a wage cost allowance based on the relevant entity’s own sales decline. The additional condition of application to the NOW scheme not being available at all for applicants operating an intra-group staffing company has been somewhat relaxed, in that groups of companies that operate a management-specific staffing company of their own have now been rendered eligible for participation in the NOW scheme on exclusion of the actual staffing company itself, with application for wage cost allowance being open to the other operating companies forming part of the group on condition that these should meet the relevant requirements.
Applying for a NOW allowance implies that the applicant has consented to the public disclosure of the information it has conveyed to UWV, the Netherlands Employee Insurance Agency, albeit that such automatic disclosure consent is to remain strictly confined to details having relevance for the transparency of public spending (rather than extending to company-sensitive information).
The NOW scheme previously demanded that employers with a foreign bank account number should notify the authorities of a domestic bank account number, for which they were given a maximum term of four weeks. As it has since transpired that this requirement is near unworkable, it has now been dropped altogether.
The Minister for Social Affairs and Employment, Wouter Koolmees, had already announced that the dual financing of wage costs for the occupationally impaired was to be condoned while the current special circumstances held sway, set-off of the allowance under the NOW scheme against the wage cost allowance having been defined as (all but) unfeasible. Having undertaken at an earlier stage to furnish detailed information regarding the threshold figure for mandatory submission of an auditor’s opinion, Mr Koolmees is yet to put these words into action. The NOW scheme is to undergo adjustment where this aspect is concerned.
Dutch version: Aanpassingen in regeling NOW