Compensation for employers because of the corona measures (NOW)

  • 17 april 2020 |
  • Advocatenkantoor Lewin |

Written on April 17, 2020

Good news about the wage compensation for employers who are struggling because of het Corona measures.

The NOW is published on March 31, 2020! The compensation towards wages for employers severely affected by the corona measures can be applied for as of April, 6 2020.

Note: This is a temporary arrangement. Applications must ultimately be submitted by May 31, 2020.
If you do not yet have access to the UWV employer portal, arrange login details as soon as possible.

WHEN IS IT USEFUL TO APPLY FOR A COMPENSATION?

  You have much less turnover (at least 20% less) than the turnover you earned on average per quarter in 2019.

NB: It is assumed that the decrease in turnover is the result of the corona measures. This is not a condition for eligibility for compensation.

  You find maintaining employment for the people who work for you important and you prefer not to lay off employees because of the financial situation.

  You expect sales to pick up again for the most part when the corona measures are lifted. If not? Then look further at the alternatives.

WHAT TURNOVER IS IMPORTANT?

The turnover in the monthsof March, April and May 2020 is important. To determine the loss of turnover, the turnover of March, April and May 2020 is compared to the average quarterly turnover in 2019 (divide the annual turnover as stated in the 2019 financial statements by 4)

If you still had a good turnover in March 2020, but expect the loss of turnover in the upcoming months, you can also choose another reference period:

    • from April to June;
    • or May to July.

You choose a reference period on the application form. It cannot be changed later.

For companies who are part of a group of companies, the turnover loss is determined at group level. Only if the group as a whole has more than 20% loss of turnover, the companies can be entitled to compensation.

WHAT DOES AND WHAT DOES NOT INCLUDE WAGES?

The total amount of wages is determined by the “SV-loon”. That is the total amount of the wages of the employees for whom contributions are paid. The SV-salary is increased by 30% (x 1.3) to compensate for employers’ costs such as holiday pay, pension and employer contributions.

The UWV will pay an advance based on the amount of wages in January 2020. Afterwards the UWV looks at the actual SV-salary in the period from 1 March to 31 May 2020. A condition for the compensation is that the amount of wages in March, April and May 2020 remains the same as the total amount of (3 x) the wages in January 2020.

      • It is not the intention to hire extra people,
      • It is also not the intention to fire people
      • The basic principle is that on-call workers are being paid as usual.

    If the total amount of wages is lower than the reference month, the compensation is adjusted downwards.
    If the amount of wages is higher than the reference month, no additional compensation is paid.

      The total amount of wages may also be lower in March, April and 2020 than the total amount of wages in January 2020 when in January 2020 a bonus or thirteenth month was paid to the employees. In that case, take into account that afterwards the final compensation will be set lower.

Please note:

    • If employees earn more than € 9,538.00 gross per month, the excess is not included in the calculation of the compensation.
    • No compensation is given for the salary of the director / major shareholder (DGA) and his life partner (if this is not insured for the employee insurance schemes).
    • The amount of wages is only the income from employment. For example, no paid transition allowance or other termination benefits are taken into account.

CONDITIONS IF YOU WANT TO CLAIM NOW

1) During the months for which the compensation has been applied for, you will pay 100% of the wages to your employees.
2) You ensure that the amount of wages remains the same as in January 2020.
3) Within your organization, the Works Council know and your employees knows that you have applied for compensation.
4) During the period that you receive compensation, you do not submit a dismissal application by the UWV for financial reasons.
5) If this is unavoidable, this will have consequences for the entitlement and amount of the compensation (see below).
6) In order to retain the entitlement to the compensation and the advance, it is mandatory to request a definitive determination of the compensation within 24 weeks after the end of the period for which NOW is granted. An audit report must be enclosed with the application for the final determination.

HOW MUCH COMPENSATION CAN YOU CLAIM?

The compensation relates to the wages for March, April and May 2020, even when you have chosen for another period for the calculation of the turnover loss. The compensation never exceeds 90% of the total SV-salary sum. This highest percentage will only be paid if there is a 100% drop in turnover. With a drop in turnover of less than 20%, you are among the lucky ones, who are only affected by the corona measures to a limited extent. There is no entitlement to compensation. If the turnover decrease is between 20% and 100%, the amount of compensation is calculated proportionally:

percentage loss of turnover x monthly SV wage bill x 1.3 x 90% x 3 months

If it is inevitable to dismiss employees, the total amount of wages will be lower than January 2020 and the compensation will also be lower in that case.

If financial reasons are the main reason for the dismissal, the compensation of the dismissed employee (s) will be deducted, plus a penalty of 50%. This applies if:
o dismissal is applied for by UWV (a-ground)
o the employee agrees to termination by the employer for financial reasons.

  The fine does not apply if employees leave for other reasons, for example because a fixed-term contract expires, termination during the probationary period, dismissal due to an urgent cause, termination for reasons other than financial reasons or when an employee agrees to an offered termination agreement. Of course, the total amount of wages will decrease if employees leave during the compensation period and no replacement is hired.

WHEN WILL THE BE COMPENSATION PAID?

The UWV has 52 weeks to make a decision, but strives to pay an initial advance within 2-4 weeks after the application has been processed. The advance amounts 80% of the expected compensation and is paid in three monthly installments.

IS THERE A RISK THAT I MUST REFUND THE ADVANCE PAYMENT (IN PART)?
Yes, that risk exists:
if the drop in turnover is much less than you expected and therefore less than 20%. In that case, the advance must be fully refunded.
if the turnover loss is much less than you had estimated, but more than 20%. Then you the advance you received was to much.
If the total amount of wages in the months of March, April and May is lower than the amount of wages in January, on which the compensation is based, the compensation is set off and the excess advance you received must be refunded.
  If you do not apply for a definitive determination of the compensation on time (within 24 weeks after the end of the period for which you expect loss of turnover) You must refund the deposit.
 In the event of abuse of the Emergency Fund or if you consciously do not meet the obligations associated with the wage subsidy application. Full refund of the deposit and possibly other penalties.

ALTERNATIVES
Instead of using the NOW compensation, you can also opt for:

        • agreements with employees about postponement of (part of) the wages, the holiday allowance, taking vacation days or the possibility of early retirement.
        • encouraging your employees to look for (temporary) other work in a sector that now needs extra manpower – possibly through secondment;
        • carrying out a reorganization if you expect the drop in turnover to continue;
        • terminate employment agreements with a settlement agreement;
        • investigate the possibility of bankruptcy or suspension of payment.

QUESTIONS / CONTACT

Do you want to know whether it is wise for you to submit a NOW application? Or do you want help preparing a NOW application? Get in touch with us.
We can be reached at the telephone number 0251-362022.
You can also send an e-mail to: lewin@advocaatlewin.nl or koenders@advocaatlewin.nl


Contact

Anna van Renesseplein 8
1911 KN Uitgeest
Tel: 0251-362022
E-mail: welkom@advocaatlewin.nl