- 29 May 2020
The NOW 2.0 scheme was announced on Wednesday, 20 May. On 28 May, the Minister of Social Affaris and Employment (the minister) sent yet another letter to parliament, informing them of additional details and changes to be implemented in the NOW 2.0 scheme. While the final text of the NOW 2.0 regulation is not yet published, the following changes can be deduced from the letters of the minister:
1. Dismissal penalty: in the run-up to the announcement of the NOW 2.0, there has been speculation about removing the dismissal penalty from the NOW 2.0. However, the announcement on 20 May has shown that the fine for dismissals due to business-economic reasons will remain in the NOW 2.0, albeit in a slimmed-down form. Whereas the fine for dismissals due to business-economic reasons under the NOW 1.0 was 150% of the salary of the employee(s) for which a dismissal application was submitted, in the NOW 2.0 this fine amounts to 100% of the salary.
The minister subsequently announced in the letter dated 28 May that another penalty will be added to the NOW 2.0. This penalty will apply to employers who dismiss at least 20 employees and who have not reached agreement on this with the relevant trade unions (or, in the absence thereof, the Works Council, personnel representative body or staff meeting). This penalty is equal to 5% of the total amount the employer receives in wage subsidy.
- Please note that if the unions and the employer do not reach an agreement, a request for mediation must be submitted to (a committee of) the Labour Foundation. In the absence of an agreement or a request for mediation, the fine of 5% of the total subsidy amount will be imposed.
2. Length of support package: the duration of the support package will be extended from three to four months. It will now last until 30 September instead of 31 August. The duration of the entire economic emergency package will be extended, including the NOW, the tax measures, the scheme for the self-employed (TOZO) and the scheme for the compensation of fixed charges (see below).
3. New Fixed Charges Compensation Scheme (TVL): until now, employers have been compensated up to a maximum of EUR 20,000 for the payment of their tangible fixed charges. This amount will be increased to a maximum of EUR 50,000 for a period of four months, provided that the conditions for the TVL are met.
We emphasise that the text of the official NOW 2.0 regulation has not yet been published. We will of course inform you as soon as it becomes available.