Over 100 firms apply to cut staff hours

More than 100 companies have applied to lay off staff under the government’s short-time working scheme (wtv), the Financieele Dagblad reports on Friday.

Applications were opened on December 1.
The scheme allows companies to place their workers on unemployment benefit for a six week period without having to sack them. The companies themselves top up wages to 100%.
Among the applicants is chip machinery maker ASML, which wants to lay off 1,100 of its 7,000-strong Dutch workforce, says the Financieele Dagblad.
Unions told the paper that turnover had fallen sharply in September and October.
Sales down
Claims by employers organisations that the criteria for acceptance were being applied too strictly were dismissed by social affairs minister Piet Hein Donner, the paper says.
Companies can only reduce staff hours under the wtv scheme if their turnover has gone down by 30%. Forecasts are not accepted, so companies expecting to hit hard times in December cannot apply.
The government has set aside €200m to fund the scheme, enough to keep 20,000 workers on temporary unemployment benefit.

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