A number of further changes have been made to the NOW scheme. These relate to foreign bank account numbers, the publication of data, clarification of the situation that applies to intra-group secondment operating companies and notification of the wage expenses subsidy.
The NOW scheme reimburses up to 90% of the payroll costs of companies whose turnover drops by at least 20%. The drop in turnover is determined by taking 25% of the turnover for 2019 as a reference. This has to be compared with the turnover generated from March to May 2020. However, employers can also take a period starting one or two months later as a basis.
One of the changes concerns the requirement that a company applying under the NOW must have a Dutch bank account number. This requirement will no longer apply, as it is sometimes causing significant difficulties in practice. Employers who have a SEPA bank account number from outside the Netherlands therefore no longer need to provide a Dutch bank account number.
Applicants under the NOW also automatically agree to the possible publication of data relating to the NOW application under the Government Information (Public Access) Act (WOB). However, within the context of the subsidy application certain information to which the Employee Insurance Agency (UWV) has access may be competitively sensitive. For this reason it has been decided that the automatic agreement will only apply to a number of items of data that are the most relevant for ensuring transparency of public spending, but do not reveal any business secrets.
It has been clarified that an intra-group secondment operating company (‘personeels-bv’) within a group cannot take advantage of the NOW scheme itself. However, this option is available to other companies within the group.
Employers who apply to the NOW scheme and are also entitled to the wage expenses subsidy (LKS) for employees with an occupational disability do not need to deduct this subsidy from the amount awarded under the NOW. Consequently, there is no longer any need to notify the local authority of the allocation of the NOW subsidy.
Please note: The turnover threshold above which a declaration from an accountant will be required is not yet known.