In response to the Coronavirus epidemic, the Dutch government has introduced a new scheme for reduced-time working, to aid businesses and individuals impacted by COVID-19. The new scheme replaces the old one known as the Employment Bridging Emergency Fund (Dutch: Noodfonds Overbrugging Werkgelegenheid). This is subject to the condition that companies cannot dismiss their employee and that they continue to pay the employee’s salary during this period. This scheme also applies to flexible workers and employees with a zero-hour contract. The approximately 1.2 million self-employed persons without employees will also receive assistance. This scheme, which applies to three months of aid, supplements the income of independent entrepreneurs up to the social minimum (social assistance benefit level). Those receiving this aid do not have to refund this amount. All entrepreneurs have the right to apply for special postponement of tax payment. Collection by the tax authorities will stop immediately, and the application will be verified later. The government will make ten to twenty billion euros available for the support of these measures in the coming three months.
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