Dutch COVID-19 Business Relief Measures (UPDATE) 

To mitigate the losses of businesses during the COVID-19 lockdown, the Dutch government has instituted emergency measures that enable businesses to retain their employees. These measures are known as the “Temporary Emergency Measures Bridging Employment” (or ‘NOW’) package. These measures were updated as of June, 2020. For official information, visit this page (in Dutch).

Employers who are faced with at least 20% expected loss of turnover can apply to UWV for compensation. The compensation will amount to a maximum of 90% of the wages. The NOW measures enable businesses to continue to pay their employees’ salaries of both permanent and temporary contracts. Businesses may claim compensation for turnover experienced during March, April, and May 2020 and including 5 June 2020.  

As of 06 July, 2020, businesses may now claim NOW measures for the months of June through September 2020. Visit the UWV website to apply.

  Conditions to claim NOW (01 June UPDATE): 

  • You may not dismiss employees on economic grounds during the period in which you receive compensation – any employees dismissed during this period will require you to pay back 100% of compensation received per employee. 
  • UPDATE: Exceptions are in place for seasonal businesses  
  • UPDATE: Dismissal of more than 20 employees on economic grounds is possible if an agreement is made with unions of other staff representation 
  • You expect to lose at least 20% due to turnover over a period of 3 consecutive months.  
  • There is a 40% surcharge for the accrual of holiday allowance, pension contributions, and other employer-related contributions 
  • You encourage your employees to take retraining or re-skilling courses 
  • NOW compensation is used to cover losses starting from March 2020 
  • You pay your employees’ wages in full  
  • The compensation is used to pay wages 
  • You may not use the compensation to pay-out bonuses, dividends, or buy back your own shares 
  • You properly inform your employees/worker’s council that you have been granted the compensation 
  • You maintain all records for at least 5 years 


The compensation received will depend on your losses incurred due to turnover. The maximum amount a business may receive is 90% of wages. For example: 

  • If the turnover loss is 100%, the compensation will amount to 90% of wages 
  • If the turnover loss is 50%, the compensation will amount to 45% of wages 
  • If the turnover loss is 25%, the compensation will amount to 22.5% of wages 

Depending on your application, the Employee Insurance Agency (UWV) will pay you in advance for 80% of the expected losses. Actual turnover loss will be determined afterwards. 

COVID-19 Support by Octagon Professionals 

 The NOW measures are certain to provide relief for businesses struggling due to COVID-19. To support our clients, we stay at the forefront of all updates regarding the coronavirus, Dutch labour law, and employer relief strategies.  

For assistance to apply for NOW, or advice to help your business navigate the current situation, schedule a consultation with one of our experts. 

Related Articles

zoekjaar netherlands