Government extends coronavirus support for jobs and the economy into 2021
Coronavirus is continuing to affect employment and the economy and the recession is unlikely to end very soon. The government has therefore announced a support and recovery package for businesses and employees, following on from the two previous emergency packages. The new package will run on into 2021 and is based on three pillars: support, help adapting to new circumstances, and investment.
The government will extend a number of support measures that were due to end on 1 October 2020. The conditions of support measures will change so that they are more geared to the longer term. In addition, the government is launching new measures to encourage businesses to invest more in economic growth. The government will also direct extra funding towards helping people find new work through training and coaching.
The ministers and state secretaries with responsibility for Economic Affairs & Climate Policy, Finance, and Social Affairs & Employment presented the extended support and recovery package to the House of Representatives on Friday. The measures in this package entail additional expenditure of some €11 billion and bring forward investments totalling €1.5 billion. This spending is separate from the investments the government will announce on Budget Day in September. Hundreds of thousands of businesses have already received support under the first two emergency packages.
The Dutch economy has shrunk less than that of neighbouring countries, but it remains unclear how it will fare in the coming period. The new package therefore has a longer duration, providing greater certainty in what are very difficult times for many people. But it will not be possible to ensure the survival of all businesses or guarantee all work and employment.
Coronavirus schemes for businesses and employees from 1 October 2020
Temporary Emergency Scheme for Job Retention (NOW)
This scheme, which provides a contribution towards wage costs, is being extended by nine months. Over three phases of three months each, the assistance provided will gradually be reduced. This will give businesses and employees time and scope to adapt to changing circumstances.
Self-employment income support and loan scheme (Tozo)
This scheme is also being extended by nine months to 30 June 2021 and will include an assessment of available cash resources. From 1 January 2021 municipalities will provide extra services to the self-employed, including retraining and help upgrading existing skills and exploring new careers.
SME fixed costs grant scheme (TVL)
This tax-free grant scheme will be extended to 30 June 2021. The maximum amount will be increased to €90,000 per business per three-month period. Over three phases of three months each, the assistance provided will gradually be reduced. This will give businesses and employees time and scope to adapt to changing circumstances.
Guarantees, loans and guarantee funds
The schemes providing for additional, extended and more accessible credit for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to ensure sufficient liquidity will continue to be available after 1 October 2020.
Businesses can apply until 1 October 2020 to defer tax. Deferral will end by 1 January 2021 at the latest. To ease the burden on businesses, they will be given ample time – 2 years – to pay off the tax debt they have built up. The temporary reduction in the interest on overdue tax to almost zero will be extended to 31 December 2021 to minimise extra costs faced by businesses.
New measures on investment
The government is also launching new measures to encourage investment and, ultimately, economic growth. Public investment in infrastructure and other areas totalling €2 billion will be brought forward. In addition, the government is investing €150 million in a national scale-up facility and is setting aside €300 million for possible participation in a planned private fund to recapitalise large and medium-sized companies.
The government is also making €150 million available to boost the capital of the funds managed by the regional development agencies to enable them to strengthen innovative SMEs by providing them with financing. The government has set aside €255 million to co-finance EU programmes focusing on regional development, innovation, sustainability and digitalisation.
Additional package of social measures
Some people will lose their jobs in the months ahead and will have to look for new employment. Others will switch from their current job to a job with better prospects. The government wants to help people in these situations. It is therefore funding efforts by the Employee Insurance Agency (UWV) and municipalities to help people find new work. And it is providing more money for retraining and upgrading existing skills. People who are especially vulnerable in an economic crisis, such as young people and people employed under the agreement between the social partners and the government to increase the number of disabled people in regular employment, will also receive extra help from the government. The government also wants to help people at a high risk of poverty and problem debt. The government will earmark over €1 billion for these additional social measures.
More information about the support and recovery package for jobs and the economy
For more information about the support and recovery package for businesses and employees, go to Business.gov.nl/corona. If this website does not answer your question, call the advisory team on 0800 2117. Employees and jobseekers can also find out more on hoewerktnederland.nl (only in Dutch).
Businesses seeking assistance under the credit schemes should apply to their lender, for example their bank. The NOW scheme is run by the Employee Insurance Agency (UWV). The TOZO scheme is run by the municipalities. The TVL scheme is run by the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO.nl). Businesses wishing to defer tax should contact the Tax and Customs Administration.