The Temporary Emergency Bridging Measure for Sustained Employment (Noodmaatregel Overbrugging Werkgelegenheid “NOW”) has been in force since March 2020 and was implemented for the duration of three months, with the possibility of an extension. The NOW is an emergency measure, which means it was implemented quickly and has been amended three times during its existence. With the approaching deadline for the NOW application, the Dutch government announced new changes to the NOW and the requirements for the extension of the existing measure with three months. Starting from July 6, 2020, applications for the extension of the NOW measure are to be bound by additional requirements that have been announced by the Dutch government on May 20, 2020 (“NOW 2.0“).
In this alert we will inform you of the changes of the NOW. The NOW 2.0 has been announced, but not published yet.
The NOW is adjusted in terms of calculating the wage bill. The thirteenth month’s salary, if paid, is filtered out of the wage bill to give a more accurate picture of the amount of the subsidy to which the employer is entitled. The Dutch Employee Insurance Agency will remove this thirteenth month of the wage bill when determining the (final) subsidy.
The Dutch government also announced additional adjustments in case of seasonal work. The wage bill calculation for seasonal employers will be adjusted by factoring in the possible increase of the wage bill for period March through May 2020, provided however that the wage bill in the period March to May 2020 is three times higher than the January 2020 wage bill.
An auditor’s report for the determination of the turnover loss is mandatory for companies that:
- have received an advance payment of EUR 100,000 or more, being at least 80% of the amount granted; or
- will receive a final subsidy of more than EUR 125,000.
Companies that have received an advance payment of less than EUR 100,000, are responsible for estimating whether their final subsidy is EUR 125,000 or more. An online tool will be made available to help companies calculate the need for an auditor’s report.
If no auditors report is required, a statement from a third party confirming the drop in turnover will have to be submitted when requesting a subsidy (i) with an advance payment of EUR 20,000 or more or (ii) a final subsidy amount of EUR 25,000 or more. This third party may be an administrative office, financial service provider or a branch organization.
The abovementioned amounts refer to the total subsidy allocated to the group, or – if there is no group – to the legal or natural person, and not the subsidy provided per payroll tax number.
Applications NOW and NOW 2.0
A company that was not qualified to apply for the NOW, can now possibly apply for the measure due to the changes in the NOW up and until June 5, 2020. Companies that wish to extend the NOW measure, will be required to apply for the NOW 2.0 measure starting from July 6, 2020. Companies that have not applied for the NOW measure but wish to apply for the NOW 2.0 measure can apply starting from July 6, 2020.
After the period over which companies have received their subsidy, the company needs to request the determination of the final subsidy. The company needs to request this determination within 24 weeks after the subsidy period. To avoid overlapping of the application period of NOW 2.0 and determination process, the determination of the first subsidy period (March, April and May 2020) can be applied for from September 7, 2020. The September 7, 2020 date applies to companies that have only submitted an application in the first tranche. If a NOW application has been submitted for both NOW and NOW 2.0, or only NOW 2.0, the determination can be applied for after the end of the second period, which date will be announced later.
As soon as the details of the additional requirements of the NOW 2.0 become public, a new blog post will be uploaded explaining the details and specifics of the NOW 2.0. In the mean time we will inform you of any changes or updates regarding the NOW. Should you require any assistance or have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.
Pepijn van Egmond