Netherlands: WTR Scheme Withdrawn – Emergency Fund Bridging Employment Introduced
Due to the Corona virus, the Working Time Reduction (WTR) permits were applied for en masse. These became so many that the scheme was no longer feasible. The government has therefore withdrawn the Reduction of Working Time scheme and is introducing the temporary measure Emergency Fund Bridging Employment (EFBE). Consultations are currently being held on the implementation of this scheme. The main features of this scheme are already known.
In short, the new scheme boils down to employers being paid max 90% of the wages. The amount of the contribution towards wage costs depends on the drop in turnover. Furthermore, the following conditions apply to the granting of the compensation:
- During the period in which wage costs are compensated, the employer must not apply for dismissal for his employees for commercial reasons. A dismissal on other grounds, such as dysfunction or a disturbed employment relationship, therefore remains possible.
- The applicant expects at least a 20% loss of turnover.
- The application applies for a period of 3 months, which can be extended once by another 3 months (further conditions may be imposed on the extension).
The scheme has retroactive effect and envisages decreases in turnover from 1 March 2020.
It is also important that the EFBE also applies to on-call workers.
Should 100% of the salary be paid on?
Yes, a condition for granting the pay compensation under the EFBE is that the employer must continue to pay 100% of the wages.
The amount of the compensation is 90% of the wage bill. However, it is not yet clear whether this will be limited by the maximum daily wages. The text of the measure also has to be awaited for the answer to that question.
How does the new measure affect accrued unemployment benefits?
Not. The compensation scheme is separate from the WW.
What happens to applications for WTR already submitted or pending?
If a license for WTR has already been obtained, this license will remain in force. If it needs to be extended afterwards, you can do so by using the EFBE. The current application for the WTR is considered an application for the EFBE.
When and where can an application for the EFBE be submitted?
This will be at the UWV (Employee Insurance Body), but is not yet possible at this time. The exact date will be announced by the Minister as soon as possible. However, the period for which compensation can be obtained does not depend on this date. Loss of turnover from 1 March is eligible for compensation.
See for more information the website of the Rijksoverheid.
Palthe Oberman attorneys are available to assist you with these and other workplace issues. For more information, visit paltheoberman.nl.
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