Saturday 28 November 2020

Companies in NL with foreign parent can pay bonuses, despite state support

Air France.com via Wikimedia Commons

Multinationals with a Dutch arm may, under some circumstances, still be able to pay bonuses and dividends on their home turf, even if they have claimed Dutch government support to pay wages, broadcaster NOS said on Thursday, quoting official documents.

Companies which apply for help with paying wages are technically not allowed to hand out bonuses, pay dividends or buy back shares, in line with a majority of MPs wishes. However, an exception has been made for companies with foreign parents, following pressure from the corporate sector itself, NOS said.

A social affairs ministry spokesman told the broadcaster that the difference has been introduced to protect Dutch jobs.

Legal experts have also said it would be difficult to impose a ban on a foreign entity in another country, which has not had any direct funding from the Netherlands.

KLM, which has a French parent, has had €285m in state support while Tata Steel, which has an Indian parent company, has had €37m.

Opposition MPs have called on social affairs minister Wouter Koolmees to explain the provision.

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