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Emergency measures in the neighbouring countries

Emergency measures in the neighbouring countries

Most of our neighbouring countries have also taken emergency measures in order to help their entrepreneurs. Of course we want to help you as much as we can. After all, it is in our common interest that you get through the crisis as well as possible. However, we depend on the information that is made available by the local governements of each country.

During the last few months it appeared to be unclear where employers with employees abroad should turn to for financial Corona-support: in the employee’s country of employment or the country where the employer is established?

The following two situations revealed these lack of clarities to us:

  • The NOW-support that an employer can apply for depends on loss of turnover, while the original unemployment benefit during short-time working (WTV, which can no longer be claimed now) depended on a reduction in work for the employees. Now that a foreign employer makes turnover outside the Netherlands, the question was whether applications from an employer based outside the Netherlands would be honored. Recently we learned that foreign employers with personnel, who are covered by social insurance in the Netherlands, are also eligible for NOW support in the Netherlands. Click here for more information about this.

  • From different sources in Germany we received contradictory information. Apparently employers with employees in Germany, established outside of Germany, may not be eligible for support from the German government.
    In the mean time we have successfully applied for support for our customers in Belgium, the Netherlands, France and the United Kingdom. Uncertainty remains only in Germany. We will of course continue to monitor developments closely.
We will do our best to keep the information on this website up to date and to add new information once we’ll receive it. In case there is something missing, please do not hesitate to inform us about it!

Emergency measures in our neighbouring countries

Below you’ll find information about the measures known to us, applicable in the neighbouring countries. Including contact details of our employees and/or partners, where you can turn to in case you need help.

As soon as the consequences for the payrolls in the countries involved are clear, please inform us of them and of your request to implement them into your payroll administration.

Belgium has also introduced schemes for temporary unemployment & tax extension because of force majeure resulting from the Coronavirus.

Where available, you’ll find links to information in Dutch, German & French. The only official information that we found in English so far is https://www.info-coronavirus.be/en/

Temporary unemployment

Applications of temporary unemployment resulting from the Coronavirus will be acknowledged as temporary unemployment due to force majeure, from March 13, 2020 until June 30, 2020.

More information about this scheme:

In Dutch

  1. For employers: www.rva.be/nl/documentatie/infoblad/t2
  2. For employees: www.rva.be/nl/documentatie/infoblad/e1-0
  3. General: www.rva.be/nl/nieuws/tijdelijke-werkloosheid-ten-gevolge-van-het-uitbreken-van-het-coronavirus-covid-19-vereenvoudiging-van-de-procedure

Other languages

  1. www.onem.be/fr/nouveau/chomage-temporaire-la-suite-de-lepidemie-de-coronavirus-covid-19-simplification-de-la-procedure (French)
  2. www.lfa.be/de/nachrichten/zeitweilige-arbeitslosigkeit-infolge-des-ausbruchs-des-coronaviruses-covid-19-vereinfachung-des-verfahrens (German)


Optional allowance from employers to their employees, on top of the unemployment benefit

If you have employees who are temporarily out of work because of the Coronavirus, you can pay them an allowance on top of their benefit to fully or partly compensate the loss of wages. However, this is not obligatory. This allowance is exempt from social insurance contributions (both employer’s and employee’s contributions) if the following conditions are met:

  1. The allowance combined with the benefit may not result in the employee receiving a net amount that exceeds the amount he would have received if he had worked
  2. You have to treat all employees within the same category in the same manner (in other words: you are not allowed to grant the allowance to some employees and not to other employees, and the allowance must be calculated in the same manner for each employee)

What are the steps you have to take to enable us to calculate and pay the allowance for you?

  1. For each employee and for each month, you communicate the following amounts to us or to your payroll provider (clearly specify the employee and the month concerned):
    1. the basic amount of the benefit received by the employee in question from the National Employment Office (RVA) in that month (specify gross amount before deduction of payroll tax)
    2. the amount of the allowance received by the employee in question from the RVA in that month (specify gross amount before deduction of payroll tax)

Important, please note! As an employer, you are responsible for the accuracy and completeness of the amounts specified. If irregularities are found at a later time, you run the risk of the aforementioned exemption of social security contributions being revoked and/or the employee may lose his benefit (we recommend that you also clearly bring this to the attention of the employee in question).

Next, you deliver this information to payroll@interfisc.be (only if you have outsourced your Belgian payroll to Interfisc).

Tax measures

Companies that are experiencing financial difficulties due to the Coronavirus have already been able to request aid from the FOD Finance in Belgium.
The federal government has now taken additional measures that will give “financial space” to companies and entrepreneurs.

In short:

  1. Automatic extension of payment of wage tax
    Companies will receive an automatic payment extension of 2 months for wage tax, not having to pay fines or interests, for the monthly declarations of the month February and March or the quarterly declaration of the first quarter of 2020.
  2. Other tax measures
    Besides automatic payment extension, support can also be requested for other taxes in Belgium, such as additional payment conditions, exemption from late payment interest and/or remission of fines for late payment.

More information is available on:

  1. https://financien.belgium.be/nl/ondernemingen/steunmaatregelen-betreffende-het-coronavirus-covid-19 (Dutch)
  2. https://finances.belgium.be/fr/entreprises/mesures-de-soutien-dans-le-cadre-du-coronavirus-covid-19 (French)
  3. https://finanzen.belgium.be/de/unternehmen/unterst%c3%bctzungsma%c3%9fnahmen-im-rahmen-des-coronavirus-covid-19 (German)
  4. https://financien.belgium.be/nl/Actueel/18-03-2020-coronavirus-bijkomende-steunmaatregelen (Dutch)
  5. https://finances.belgium.be/fr/Actualites/18-03-2020-coronavirus-mesures-soutien-supplementaires (French)
  6. https://finanzen.belgium.be/de/news/coronavirus-zus%c3%a4tzliche-unterst%c3%bctzungsma%c3%9fnahmen-gesellschaftssteuer-steuer-der-juristischen (German)


Corona nuisance premium in the Flanders region

Because of the Corona measures, companies are being obliged to shut their doors. To support them, a Corona nuisance premium has been introduced for companies based in the Flanders region.

For more information, please check the website of the Agentschap Innoveren & Ondernemen (Flanders Innovation & Entrepreneurship, VLAIO):

  1. www.vlaio.be
  2. www.unizo.be/hinderpremie-coronatijden


Other information for employers

  1. https://www.info-coronavirus.be/nl/faqs/ (Dutch)
  2. https://www.info-coronavirus.be/fr/ (French)
  3. https://www.info-coronavirus.be/en/ (English)
  4. https://www.info-coronavirus.be/de/ (German)
  5. https://economie.fgov.be/nl/themas/ondernemingen/coronavirus/coronavirus-informatie-voor (Nederlands)
  6. https://economie.fgov.be/fr/themes/entreprises/coronavirus/coronavirus-informations-pour (Frans)
  7. https://werk.belgie.be/nl/nieuws/update-coronavirus-preventiemaatregelen-en-arbeidsrechtelijke-gevolgen (Nederlands)
  8. https://emploi.belgique.be/fr/actualites/update-coronavirus-mesures-de-prevention-et-consequences-sur-le-plan-du-droit-du-travail (Frans)
  9. www.unizo.be/corona
  10. https://www.voka.be/coronavirus-faq
  11. https://www.rva.be/sites/default/files/assets/chomage/FAQ/Faq_Corona_NL.pdf


Do you need help?

For more information, please contact Interfisc België NV via payroll@interfisc.be. Your accountmanager will provide you with information about the next steps for you to take.

Temporary unemployment

Below you’ll find information about the German measure for temporary unemployment resulting from the Coronavirus:

  1. For employers: https://www.arbeitsagentur.de/news/corona-virus-informationen-fuer-unternehmen-zum-kurzarbeitergeld

  2. For employees: https://www.arbeitsagentur.de/finanzielle-hilfen/kurzarbeitergeld-arbeitnehmer

If you are considering applying for temporary unemployment in Germany as a result of the Coronavirus, our partner KPP, based in Kleve, has implemented a service package for you. For the time being, however, it is unfortunately not certain whether employers who are not established in Germany are also entitled to this. As soon as we know more, you will read it here.

Taking into account the new legislation on the temporary crisis measures to improve the regulation of working time reduction of 13 March 2020, KPP will provide you with the necessary documents for the notification and the application of working time reduction to the Bundesagentur für Arbeit (Employment Office).

Click below for more information from our partner KPP:

  1. https://www.linkedin.com/posts/kpp-steuerberatung_kurzarbeitergeld-regelungen-wegen-corona-krise-activity-6645943378351652864-CSgj

Do you need help?

Do not hesitate to contact our partners:
KPP, Laura Jansen, laura.jansen@kpp-recht.de (about temporary unemployment and legal questions)
KPP, Stefan Boß, stefan.boss@kpp.de (about financial matters)
Website: www.kpp.de

 

Other information for employers

  1. https://www.bundesgesundheitsministerium.de/coronavirus.html
  2. https://www.bundesregierung.de/breg-de/themen/coronavirus

Both the Bundesregierung and the Bundesagentur für Arbeit have English websites, but on March 23, the Corona information was not available on these websites yet.

France has also introduced emergency schemes for temporary unemployment & tax extension because of force majeure resulting from the Coronavirus.

Below you’ll find the official websites containing information:

Our partner Amstel & Seine from Paris can answer your legal questions about payment of wages and reimbursements to your employees, unable to work due to the Corona virus. They can also help applying for a reimbursement in case of a temporary closure of your company or reduction or the regular working hours. In France this is called “chômage partiel”, or partial unemployment. In this situation employees receive a reimbursement (as a compensation of their loss of salary) paid by the employer, but the reimbursement is fully or partially financed by the French government and the Unédic.
The amount of the “chômage partiel” is 70% of the gross salary, with a maximum of € 6.900 (4 x the legal minimum wage or SMIC 2020), which sums up to around 84% of the net wage. This is paid by the employer tot he employees, and the employer is reimbursed by the French government.

The government is at this moment working on a decree, containing a raise to 100% payment, however this decree was not in place yet when this information was published.

From the start of the lockdown in France until April 30, employees who had to stay at home to care for their children could receive a sickness certificate for a maximum of 21 days.
As from May 1 this is no longer possible and they will automatically switch to chômage partiel.

Below you’ll find a link from the French government, addressed to employers:

  1. https://travail-emploi.gouv.fr/emploi/accompagnement-des-mutations-economiques/activite-partielle


Do you need help?

Please contact Mirjam Berg from Amstel & Seine in Paris for more information, via mirjam.berg@amstelseine.com. She speaks English and Dutch (besides French).

Other information for employers

The rules in France regarding social contacts are very strict. It is forbidden to leave the house, unless one has a valid reason. For some “déplacements” an exception has been made. This applies for example to employees with a position that is not suitable for working from home, in which case the employee will need to carry a declaration stating that his or her presence at work is required. In all cases a “justificatif de déplacement professionnel” must be requested under penalty of a fine.

More information about this “justificatif” is available on:

  1. https://www.interieur.gouv.fr/Actualites/L-actu-du-Ministere/Attestation-de-deplacement-derogatoire-et-justificatif-de-deplacement-professionnel


New measure for travel and transport to France

On April 8, 2020, the French Ministry of the Interior published an additional form: “attestation de déplacement international dérogatoire”.

This is a statement regarding international travel to France.

This statement does not replace:

  1. the form “attestation de déplacement dérogatoire individuelle” to be used during all journeys within the French national territory
  2. the employer certificate “justificatif de déplacement professionnel” for work-related travel in France

More information about all these forms can be found at https://www.agroberichtenbuitenland.nl/

 

Below you’ll find a link to the official information of the British government:

COVID-19: support for companies:

  1. www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19/covid-19-support-for-businesses

COVID-19: guidance for employees:

  1. www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19/covid-19-guidance-for-employees

 

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme & “furloughed” employees

A.o. a “Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme” has been introduced, containing a reimbursement to employers of wage costs.

The official information about the “Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme” can be found on:

  1. www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-for-wage-costs-through-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme (for employers)
  2. www.gov.uk/guidance/check-if-you-could-be-covered-by-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme (for employees)

On 27-3-2020 we received the following update from the HMRC:

“The new Job Retention Scheme will be open to all employers with a PAYE payroll scheme that was created and started on or before 28 February 2020, including charities. Employers can apply for grants of 80% of furloughed employees’ (employees on a leave of absence) monthly wage costs, up to £2,500 a month, plus the associated Employer National Insurance contributions and minimum automatic enrolment employer pension contributions on that wage, provided they keep the worker employed. The scheme will cover the cost of wages backdated to 1 March 2020, if applicable.”

Below you’ll find information from our partner, the Belgian-Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce in Great Britain, about this new scheme.

“To access the scheme employers will need to take measures, but please keep in mind that the below information is based upon preliminary information:

  1. designate affected employees as ‘furloughed workers,’ and notify your employees of this change – changing the status of employees remains subject to existing employment law and, depending on the employment contract, may be subject to negotiation
  2. submit information to HMRC about the employees that have been furloughed and their earnings through a new online portal (HMRC will set out further details on the information required)”

On 1-9-2020 there will again be changes in the scheme, that will influence the payroll:

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) grant will pay 70% of the employees usual wages, up to a cap of £ 2,187.50 per month for the hours the furlough employees do not work.

Employers are required to pay the furloughed employees a minimum of 80% of their usual wages, up to a cap of £ 2,500 per month. This means that the employer will fund the difference between this and the CJRS grant.

Employers will continue to pay the employers National Insurance contribution and employers pension contribution.

Please note that employers may choose to top up the employees wages above the 80%.

Read more about the HMRC guidance:

www.gov.uk/government/publications/changes-to-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme/changes-to-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme

 

Tax measures – Time to Pay Service

In cases of problems related to taxes and payments to the HMRC, a “payment plan” can be agreed upon with the HMRC, via the so-called Time To Pay service.

 

Do you need help?

Don’t hesitate to contact Philippe Sauvage of the Belgian-Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce in Great Britain, via legal@blcc.co.uk, in case you have legal questions or other employment related questions.

Our partner HTLC in Italy provided us with the following explanation on social safety nets for employees in Italy:

Social safety nets in Italy – 2020-03-24

 

They also provided us with the following English translation of a protocol, published on March 14, 2020, for regulating Corona measures:

Shared Protocol for Regulating Measures to Combat and Contain the diffusion of the Covid-19 virus in work environments

Furthermore, in Italy an employer can decide unilaterally to use paid holidays, being deducted from the “related individual progressive credits”, if related to a company activity suspension. It would however be wiser to agree a related plan internally with employees or unions representatives.

 

Do you need help?

You may contact HTLC Network SAGL, Mr. Luca Martin via luca.martin@htlcnetwork.com.

Do you our your employees work in another or more than one country?

Please make sure to check if the countries involved have implemented travel restrictions or require specific documents when crossing the border.

Read about the payment of social security and taxes before, during and after the Corona crisis

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Since 1972, Interfisc has offered international HR & Payroll solutions in the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, France, the United Kingdom, and Italy. We do this from our offices in the Netherlands and Belgium, and with an international team of around 45 committed and caring employees. 

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