Netherlands: NOW 4 – Sixth Application Period for Subsidies Opened
Important features NOW 4
Employers with a minimum (expected) loss of turnover of 20% are eligible for the NOW 4. However, the government has decided to apply a maximum (to be reported) loss of turnover of 80%. This means that businesses with a loss of turnover of more than 80% must take an allowance of 68% into account (80% x 85% reimbursement rate = 68%). The reference month for the wage bill is adjusted from June 2020 to February 2021. See below for the most important features of the NOW 4:
- The NOW 4 runs from 1 July 2021 to 30 September 2021;
- NOW 4 is aimed at employers with an (expected) loss of turnover of at least 20%;
- A maximum turnover loss of 80% (to be declared);
- The allowance is based on the wage bill for February 2021. This month gives a more representative picture of the current wage bill;
- The wage bill may decrease by 10% in relation to February 2021, without this being at the expense of the allowance;
- The TVL (in Dutch: Tegemoetkoming Vaste Lasten) no longer counts as turnover (as with the NOW 3). Due to the exclusion of the TVL, employers receive a higher amount of allowance after applying for the final allowance;
- The reimbursement rate is a maximum of 85% of the wage bill.
Obligations of the employer
Obligation of effort
Employers who receive an allowance are obliged to encourage their employees to request development advice or attend training in order to retain employment. In addition, employers are generally obliged to make an effort to assist employees threatened with dismissal in finding new employment.
It is up to the employer to decide exactly how this obligation is to be met. However, employers who submit a request for economic dismissal (in Dutch: bedrijfseconomisch ontslag) must notify the UWV (Employee Insurance Agency). If the employer fails to notify the UWV, the allowance will be reduced by 5%.
Bonus and dividend ban
The NOW 4 includes an additional condition regarding the payment of bonuses and dividends. This condition requires employers to enter into an agreement with the employee representatives in the case of a NOW 4 application (and where an accountant’s statement is required). The agreement must include in writing how bonuses and dividends are to be handled.