Wednesday 27 January 2021

Cafes, restaurants and hotels make half of requests for coronavirus support

A closed cafe terrace in Amsterdam. Photo:

Almost half the requests for help with paying wages by companies hit by coronavirus have come from the hospitality sector, payment agency UWV has said.

Since November 16, companies have been able to request help to meet wage bills for the past three months of the year. Companies can apply for help if they expect to lose at least 20% of their income due to the coronavirus measures. The government will foot up to 80% of the total wage bill.

Some 10,000 of the 21,000 requests which have already been approved come from catering companies, bars, restaurants and the rest of the hospitality sector, the UWV said.

Restaurants and cafes have been closed since October 14 and will not be able to open again until January 17 at the earliest, although ministers have already hinted this could be extended.

A number of outlets have already said they plan to open again on January 17, with or without the government’s green light.


Meanwhile, according to the Volkskrant, payroll companies have been able to claim millions of euros in government coronavirus support, despite new regulations which are supposed to make payrolling less attractive.

The figure used to determine how much turnover a company has lost to qualify for support is the average quarterly revenue booked in 2019. But new legislation for payroll firms came into effect in January and had impacted on their financial position before the coronavirus hit, the VK said.

Although there are no separate figures for payrolling firms, staffing agency sector body ABU says the entire sector saw turnover fall 12% in January. This means payroll companies have been able to attract millions of euros in support even though their financial position had worsened before coronavirus hit, the paper said.

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