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Wage costs subsidy in the Netherlands, NOW

Key support measure in the Netherlands Wage costs subsidy in the Netherlands, NOW

What is NOW? Because of the emergency situation due to the coronavirus, you may have less work for your employees or no work at all. The NOW-scheme allows you to apply for a substantial compensation of wage costs. The NOW replaces the unemployment benefit during short-time working (werktijdverkorting, WTV). Are you an employer? You may be eligible for compensation of wage costs. This allows you to continue payment of wages to your employees on a permanent or flexibel contract.

On the 6th of April the official portal from the Dutch UWV (Employee Insurance Agency) has opened. Applications can be submitted through this page.

How does it work?

An employer who expects a loss of turnover can apply for a substantial compensation for his employees’ wages. The Employment Insurance Agency (UWV) will pay an advance which allows companies to continue to pay their staff.

The NOW scheme has been implemented in phases:

  • NOW 1.0 related to support for payroll costs on the period of March, April and May 2020. Applications could be submitted between 6 April 2020 and 5 June 2020 (originally the expiration date was 31 May 2020).
  • NOW 2.0 related to the period of June, July and August 2020. Applications could be submitted from 6 July 2020 until 31 August 2020 at the latest.
  • NOW 3.0 relates to the last quarter of 2020 and the first two quarters of 2021. The application period for NOW 3.0 started to run in November 2020.

Click here for information about NOW 1.0 and 2.0
Click here for information about NOW 3.0

For all phases of the NOW scheme, the subsidy paid out by UWV is or has been an advance, based on your estimated loss of sales. An application for the final NOW calculation must be filed as soon as the actual percentage loss of sales is known. This must be requested separately for each individual phase; a phase cannot be set off against other phases by UWV. In the final application, UWV will calculate the final amount to which you are entitled and send you the settlement bill accordingly.

Click here for more information about the final NOW calculation

Do you have no branch in the Netherlands, but you have employees with social insurance in the Netherlands?

Then you may be eligible for NOW-support. Initially, a Dutch bank account number was required to receive NOW-support. As many foreign companies do not have this and were unable to quickly organise one, this resulted in many complaints. Eventually the rules were updated. On 1 May, the government announced that a non-Dutch SEPA bank account would suffice. Use the link below to view the announcement letter setting out this change and other issues:



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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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