65,000 firms apply for help with wage bills in second NOW package

Photo: DutchNews.nl
Photo: DutchNews.nl

In total 65,000 companies have applied for government support to pay wages in the second round of support measures, jobs agency UWV, which administers the system, said.

Of them, 5,400 made their requests on Monday, which was the deadline for applications.

The NOW ruling allows companies to claim up to 90% of their wage bills, as long as they have lost at least 20% of their turnover.

The total is less than half the number who applied for help under the first NOW scheme, when 150,000 companies came forward.

The government has also just announced details of the third NOW package, which will run from the end of this month to next July.

From October, the support will be reduced in stages to 80%, 70% and 60% while from January, the scheme will only apply to companies with a turnover reduction of at least 30%.

The cost of this measure is put at some €5.4bn. Companies in receipt of NOW support will not be fined if they sack staff and will be able to reduce salaries if unions agree, but the ban on dividend and bonus payments will remain, ministers said last week.

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