Do not phase out the emergency support. That is the call that the FNV trade union and employers’ organization VNO-NCW are making to the cabinet.
As of today, employers who are in trouble can appeal to the third round of wage support, NOW 3. The scheme has changed compared to previous rounds: employers have more room to fire people, while the maximum compensation will be reduced. The plan is for the compensation to be further reduced step by step next year.
FNV and VNO-NCW now warn in De Telegraaf that the reduction will cause many companies to get into deeper problems. “It is difficult to estimate how great the need is now”, Zakaria Boufangacha of FNV told NOS. “When the cabinet decided to gradually phase out the package from October, it assumed the worst of the pandemic was over. Unfortunately, that is not the case.”
1500 euros for everyone without work
According to Boufangacha, the after-effects of the second wave are severe in some sectors. “If you continue to wind down, and you end up in a worse situation or possibly a third wave, you will see that there will be many more layoffs and more people will be out of work.”
He wants the cabinet to provide more support in particular to flex workers and self-employed workers. “Many of them are now falling back to the social minimum. We believe that the cabinet should, for example, come up with a crisis income.” That is to say: temporarily 1500 euros for those who are out of work, regardless of his or her situation.
In conversation with the cabinet
“We have also always agreed with the cabinet to review the package if the situation requires it,” Edwin van Scherrenburg of VNO-NCW told NOS. The organization is currently talking to the cabinet on behalf of employers to reverse the phasing out of support. “After all, we are in the second wave with another partial lockdown and many hard hit sectors.”
Van Scherrenburg does not want to say how those conversations are going. “We cannot anticipate further progress as we are still discussing this with the cabinet.”
Van Scherrenburg fears that the support that remains now will be insufficient and will cause unnecessary problems for companies. “The reserves of many companies have now fallen to zero and we must prevent that fundamentally healthy companies from falling over as a result of all government measures.”