Work reduction scheme runs into trouble

The rule on short-time working is being applied so rigidly that the measure threatens to turn into a debacle, according to sources in the technology sector quoted in NRC.

The short-time working rule only applies to firms which have booked a minimum drop in turnover of 30%. Forecasts of a decline are not accepted by the social affairs ministry which has to give permission for working hours to be cut.
This means that while companies in trouble in October and November may be allowed to cut staff hours, those which expect their turnover to fall by 30% in December cannot apply, says the NRC. Daf, NedCar and DSM may be affected, the paper says.
Employers’ organisations are urgently asking parliament and the cabinet to make the rule more flexible because companies are facing enormous problems in attracting credit. They say the crisis is likely to get worse if measures are not taken soon, says the paper.
Short-time working has been extended temporarily to cover economic developments. Workers whose hours are cut have 70% of their salary paid from unemployment benefit with the company paying the rest.

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